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ATLANTIS 

THE BOOK OF THE ANGELS 



Again from ocean's buried realms they rise, 
Drowsy with their long sleep, the unshrived dead, 
To speak with their thin voices of the Past 
That lies beyond tradition. 

Now we see 
In fancy's thoughts the land before the Flood: 
Again they stand, the battlements and towers 
Against the azure skies: 
Again those Atlantean temples rise, 
And thronging pathways crown the heaving waves: 
The voices of the Past speak yet again; 
In dreams we hear them and we see the crowds 
That dared the doom of vengeance. 

B-M. 




SAW IN THE NIGHT MANY SPIRITS DESCEND, WHICH WERE TO WORK THE APPOINTED WORD. 



ATLANTIS 



THE BOOK OF THE ANGELS 



IXTERl'KKTED BY 

D. BRIDGMAN-METCHIM 



W/ TH ILL US TRA TIONS 

BY THE AUTHOR. 



eHEAP 




EDITION. 



L O X D O N : 
SWAN SONNENSCPiElN .\: Co, Lim. 

1* A 1 K K N ( ) S r t K S ( J U A K K . 
1903. 



4. 003 



PREFACE. 



This Interpretation is the fullest account we have yet of the 
life ante-diluvium, filling in with apparent accuracy, as far as 
I can judge, one of those many blanks in the earlier chapters 
of Genesis, which, were they all to be so filled, would make 
our great Bible several times greater without any good accruing 
to our minds in learning of the embryo formation of Earth and Man. 

This is the history of the zenith of the early Adamites, when 
their superhuman attainments demanded their destruction ; and 
by reason of the language being beyond all other languages — 
the root language of Shinar — it has been a labour of time to 
interpret the narrative, throughout which I have used common- 
place and understandable terms, rendered in clear English of 
to-day. 

With the Flood the curtain falls, as it were, upon an inter- 
rupted and unfinished act of the great drama of Man ; and 
when we realise the sin of stoppage and the challenge of the 
halt of progress, we stand appalled to watch the inevitable 
result, and shudder as the elemental powers remove all traces 
of rebeUion from before Heaven. And as the ages blot out all 
but the mention of that vanished period that began we know 
not when, we may wonder when our scenes will come to the 
last one, and what will be the ending. 

D. Bridgman-Metchim. 



544950 



CONTENTS. 



PREFACE. 



Page. 
VII 



LIBER I. 



CAP. 



I. 

II. 

III. 

IV. 

V. 

VI. 

VII. 

VIII. 

IX. 

X. 

XI. 

XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 

XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIII. 



THE TEMPLE .... 
THE INTERIOR .... 

TEKTHAH 

THE PALACE .... 
THE HALL OF FEASTING 
THE GARDEN .... 
THE MARKET-PLACE . . 
THE MARCH OF HUITZA 
AZTA 



• • • • 3 

l6 

24 

.... 32 

42 

49 

59 

70 

76 

THE THRONE 82 

NOAH 93 

A MAN AND A NATION I02 

THE CIRCUS 107 

THE THIRD DAY I16 

THE CHILD OF DOOM 123 

THE FEAST OF DEATH I29 

THE PASSING OF TEKTHAH 13^ 

THE HALT OF TRIUMPH 143 



LIBER H. 

I. PREPARATIONS iS^ 

II. THE SHADE OF HUITZA I59 

III. THE RISING SUN 167 

IV, THE CAMP OF TOLTIAH 174 

V. THE TACOATLANTA I^I 

VI. THE FIRST STEP OF FAME 188 

VII. HUITZA AND TERROR ^95 



CONTENTS. 

Page. 

CAP. VIII. A VISION OF WARNING 203 

„ IX. THE MARCH OF TOLTIAH 211 

„ X. THE NIGHT OF SPIRITS 2l8 

„ XI. THE HOUSE DIVIDED 223 

„ XII. THE WOOING OF ZUL 230 

„ XIII. THE HILL OF THE TALCOATLA 236 

„ XIV. THE SHAME OF THE STRONG 245 

„ XV. THE JUBILEE OF ZUL 253 

„ XVI. "O TERQUE QUATERQUE BEATI— ! " 263 

,, XVII. THE INFERNAL COUNCIL 269 

„ XVIII. THE VISION OF THE EARTH 276 

„ XIX. THE HEART OF THE WORLD 287 

„ XX. THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS 296 

„ XXI. THE DEAFNESS OF THE NATION 303 

„ XXII. susi 312 

LIBER III. 



I. THE CLOUD ON THE EDGE OF THE STORM 323 

II. THE ICY WARNING OF DOOM 330 

III. THE FOLLY OF THE LAND 336 

IV. THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS 3^2 

V. THE SHAME OF ZUL 350 

VI. THE WAR OF THE SPIRIT 357 

VII. THE LEAVEN OF SIN 367 

VIII. THE ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE ........ 374 

IX. THE SCORPION WHIPS OF GOD 381 

X. THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS 388 

XL THE NAVEL OF THE CLOUDS 394 

XII. " FOR TO-MORROW WE DIE " 402 

XIII. "mene mene tekel upharsin" 408 

XIV. THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION 415 

XV. "behold, I WILL destroy" 421 

XVI. THE TRAVAIL OF EARTH 428 

XVII. THE GATES OF DEATH 436 

THE APPENDIX 447 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Pa^e. 
I SAW IN THE NIGHT MANY SPIRITS DESCEND Frontispiece. 



LIBER I. 

INITIAL LETTER 3 

THERE LAY ZUL ! 7 

THOSE WHOM GOD HATH CHAINED FOR EVER 22 

SURAPA 26 

IN THE HALL OF FEASTING 46 

O HALLOWED MOMENTS THAT SO SWIFT SPEED TO THE GATES OF 

doom! 55 

ALL OVER THE LAND WERE THESE TEMPLES 66 

HUITZa's TROOPS WERE COMING 72 

BEFORE THE MIGHT OF TEKTHAH 85 

AZTA CAST HERSELF NEGLIGENTLY ONTO THE SEAT 87 

A GREAT SENSATION PASSED THROUGH THE IMPERIAL THRONG . . II7 



LIBER II. 

INITIAL LETTER 151 

WEEP WITH WONDERING ANGUISH 152 

WHERE THE GREAT SERPENT KEPT WATCH 1 55 

CLUSTERING UPON THE BULWARKS, THEY PREPARED TO LEAP . . . 168 

REFLECTED IN THE QUIET WATERS 194 

QUEEN OF THE WAVES, THAT RAISED HER TEMPLES 215 

THE GREAT FISH-GOD WAS DECKED WITH ORNAMENTS 254 

IN BAFFLED FURY RETIRED 274 

MULTICOLOURED BLAZES OF GLORY 293 

SUDDENLY A LONG, LOW WAVE BROKE ON THE SHORE 309 

THE GIANT, PERCEIVING HER TERROR, SMILED 318 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 
LIBER III. 

Page. 

INITIAL LETTER 323 

O DEPTHS OF HORROR OF SILENT KNOWLEDGE! 324 

THE SMALL PEOPLE WHICH WHEELED UP AND UP INTO THE SKY . . 344 

THE COLD FURY OF A WRATH WHICH WOULD HAVE BLASTED . . . 362 

YET WOULD I NOT RELINQUISH MY LOVE 365 

WITH BURSTING EYES GAZING INTO INFINITY 379 

NOR DID THE WATERS QUENCH IT 40O 

PIERCING THE DREADFUL CLOUDS WITH WONDROUS LIGHT .... 434 

REINFORCING THE POWER OF THE FIRST MIGHTY DESTROYER . . . 439 



LIBER I 

THERE-WERE GIANTS- IN 
THE EARTH IN THOSE 
DAYS-AND-ALSO AFTER 
THAT WHEN THE SONS 
OF-GOD-CAME IN UNTO 
THE DAUGHTERS- OF- MEN 
AND THEY BARE CHILDREN 
TO THEM THESAME 
BECAME- MIGHTY-MEN 
WHICH-WERE-OF-OLD 
MEN- OF RENOWN- 

GEN Yl 4 




CAP. I. 



THE TEMPLE. 



THE days when the sons 
of Adam increased and 
multiplied, and in the days 
when they overran Atlantis 
and builded themselves 
cities, the noise of their 
sin rose up the Heaven. 
And to me, Asia, an 
archangel tx, which stood 
before the Throne of God, 
was given command to go 
forth upon the Earth and 
by reason of my words 
turn the heart of Man back 
to the faith of his fathers, 
and destroy his groves and 
altars which he had raised 



to the worship of gods created of his evil imaginings, which 
were detestable to Us. 

Now certain also among Us had gone forth and cohabited 
with the daughters of Man, in mystic visions of the night or 



X Mrs. Jameson in "Sacred and Legendary Art" gives us the following: — 
"The great theologians divide the angelic hosts into three hierarchies, and these 
again into nine choirs, three in each hierarchy : according to Dionysius the Areopagite, 
in the following order: I. Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones. 2. Dominations, Virtues, 
Powers. 3. Princedoms, Archangels, Angels. The order of these dominations is 
not the same in all authorities: according to the Greek formula, St. Bernard, and 



ATLANTIS. 

by more physical manifestations causing them to conceive and 
bear children unto them, which was neither seemly nor proper; 
but in such strong form was the celestial passion manifested in the 
beings of Earth that even angels stooped to partake of its pleas- 
ures, (such angels as moved invery close communion with the farther 
circles, and looked to an extent upon material things). And indeed 
the separate Female was a m)sterious and wonderful creation. 

In manifested shape among them were many evil spirits, 
working confusion by their own confusion, and whereby Man 
came to know more than was meet that he should : whence 
would have come much tribulation by reason of his turbulence 
and ambition, and the use of powers superhuman for the attain- 
ment of Earthly things, which is sorcery and witchcraft. 

Not very much had I known of the New Creation and of 
the world among the stars ; to me was sufficient the vast delights 
of space and those far circles where the billows of Life broke 
upon horizons beyond which flaming worlds fed the Immensity 
with fire and light; sufficient was the song of endless spheres so 

the Legenda Aurea, the Cherubim precede the Seraphim, and in the hymn o£ 
St. Ambrose they have also the precedence — To Thee, Cherubim and Seraphim 
contifiually do oy^ etc. ; but the authority of St. Dionysius seems to be admitted 
paramount, for, according to the legend, he was the convert and intimate friend 
of St. Paul, and St. Paul, who had been transported to the seventh heaven, had 
made him acquainted with all he had there beheld. 

The first three choirs receive their glory immediately from God, and transmit 
it on to the second; the second illuminate the third; the third are placed in 
relation to the created universe and man. The first hierarchy are as counsellors, 
the second as governors, the third as ministers. The Seraphim are absorbed in 
perpetual love and adoration immediately around the throne of God. The Cherubim 
know and worship. The Thrones sustain the seat of the Most High. The Dominations, 
Virtues and Powers are the Regents of stars and elements. The three last orders, 
Princedoms, Archangels and Angels, are the protectors of the great monarchies on 
earth, and the executors of the will of God throughout the universe. 

The term angel is properly applied to all these celestial beings; but it belongs 
especially to the last two orders, who are brought into immediate communication 
with the human race. The word Angel, Greek in its origin, signifies a Messenger, 
or more literally, a bringer of tidings. In this sense, the Greeks entitle Christ 
"The great Angel of the will of God." 

For a discussion on the meaning and etymology of Seraphim and Cherubim see 
note, cap. XVII., lib. II., where some curious information is revealed. 

The word "Archangel" of the text is, in the original, ''Great Angel," or signifies 
perh.aps "Mighty Spirit." 



THE TEMPLE. 

justly poised upon the seas of immeasurable air where the 
rolling wheels of Fate turned, ever moved by the Word, hymned 
of the winged ^ons. 

And would that I had never left my happy estate, nor ever 
looked upon thee, Earth world, thou dull spot within the starry 
coronet that crowns the brows of God. When the noise of thy 
rebellion and unrest arose, we marvelled ; and thinking upon 
thy smallne?s it was as the noise of a tiny insect buzzing in 
a great mansion. Yet, little pest, thy sting is sharp, and many 
have felt it. 

For it was whispered that the beings of Earth were goodly 
to look upon, and were attractive in their wit and wisdom and 
high in the sight of our Lord Jehovah, being greatly esteemed 
that they combined with the subtlety of Heaven a manifested 
form of Earth. Beautiful in sad truth were they, and excellent 
in arts, particularly of mischief. And I, who have seen the days 
when man first came upon Earth, and the last-created man, 
Adam, and who have looked upon the face of God, bear witness 
herein to their excellence, and to that ambition that ministered 
by the female element, medium of Heaven, caused their downfall. 

Why should we sing our defeats? Whence the desire that 
others of Earth shall learn my record of them, that is hidden 
up in the closing book of the Past? Fain would I lose myself 
in profound meditation, yet it may not be; and ever arises in 
sad memory the dreamy glories of Atlantis and starry nights 
of love. Gone thou art, Zul, city of gods ! and thou, my Love, 
where art thou now ? Wilt thou remember when we meet again ? 
O Azta, could I but have led thee in those careless paths 
where false ambition has no home and the fleeting triumph of 
dearly-bought glory troubles not ! The Siren of Earth, that ever 
sits beyond your reach and throws gifts of self-esteem whereby 
ye need no warning and perish in self-created flames, sits not 
in the lofty groves of Paradise. 

Hear, Peoples of the Future, a recital of days that are past and 
gone beyond the reach of history — a recital of a power that sought 
to strive with the creator of itself for a mastery that would have 
brought but a horror of impotent ruin on Universes unimagined — 
a recital of how the heavenly power of Love brings disaster 

5 



ATLANTIS. 



when not applied in its own spirit — and learn, if but in a passing 
flash of intuition, that misapplied Good begets a more powerful 
evil than Evil itself can do. 



Stooping from Heaven, and full of the trust reposed in me, 
I sought the Earth lying like a cloudy wonder on the bosom 
of space ; and attaining at length the terrestrial atmosphere with 
the speed of the Word, and the brightness of the Earth-atoms 
generating light, stood thereon, an embodied Intellect, upon a 
vast land, by the side of a lake of water wherein I perceived 
myself fashioned wondrously. Thereon I gazed in an ecstacy 
of admiration, not fully understanding as yet that it was my 
own image, for I had never before taken on any carnal mani- 
festation ; and then confusion overcame me and I rose up and 
surveyed the surrounding beauties. 

And to me was given the power to take on whatsoever form 
of Earth I wished, which power I perceived to be balanced by 
a certain dulness of thought and intellect fitted to the heavy 
atmosphere and the solidity around me. 

With what curiosity I gazed on the white swans that skimmed^ 
the lake, and how I was ravished with the towering beauty of 
palms and stately trees shadowing the fruitful Earth beneath 
the blueness of the deeps of sky as apparent. Afar were moun- 
tain slopes and grotesque yet shapely masses that filled a whole 
horizon with irregular outlines, and I cried in the language of 
Earth, How beautiful 1 

But suddenly the brightness fled. The Earth rose above the 
sun and there was darkness over everything. In eager haste I 
mounted into the air and grasped the sword that lay along my 
thigh, and soon I saw the burning planet and that half the 
Earth was bright and half was not. 

Curious, I lighted down again upon the dark part, near to 
where I had at first come, and presently the moon shone with 
a wonderful pure white gleam. 

It was night. I stood on the sandy beach of the old sea, that 
I knew was there long before man came, and that after in more 
human nature I loved so well because of its restless sorrow; a 

6 



THE TEMPLE. 



beach fringed with palm-groves and luxuriant vegetation, with 
strange animals wandering upon it. I raised my eyes, full of 
wonder, to the shapely masses rising from its plain, and per- 
ceived a city. 




THERE LAY ZUL! 



There lay Zul 1 x from East to West horizon stretching, dark 
against the moonlight; and afar, standing out in white sheen and 
misty beauty, rose tower, pyramid and pylon in endless group- 
ing, mass above mass, terrace above terrace, in cyclopean 

X The etymology of the Atlantean Zul, which appears to indicate the Sun, is 
perpetuated in the Akkad Zal, the Aymara Sillo, and the Latin Sol. 



ATLANTIS. 

gloom. Grim, awful and majestic in its immensity of sleeping 
strength, lay the mighty city ; and full of the wonder of the night, 
I drank my full of the mystery of it and marvelled at the glory 
of Earth. Methought in the darkness it was the city of Satan 
and of his legions, and at times I wonder now if I were correct 
in my thought. Never, ah ! never can I forget the stupendous 
wonder of Zul as it came upon me that night, when as an 
atom of Earth I stood beneath its majesty. 

Up and upward it rose from the bosom of the waters, and 
within the mighty shadow of its walls I saw gates, massive ports 
with carven columns and colossal statues, and within the walls, 
palaces, arches and colonnades, and on this side a wide moat. 

I saw the waving flames on temple roofs ; I strove to analyse 
the piles of enormous masonry that rose in confusion — the 
thronging columns, colossi, roofs and towers. This was a city 
of giants ! 

There was life within ; there was music. Not like the strains 
my soul loved, but blatant and ribald, and methought, discor- 
dant. I perceived many more lights ; before a propylon stood 
a pyramid ; and now the light began to return and to disclose 
monstrous forms and faces, crude clashing colours and rough or- 
namentations. 

The colossi exhibited hideous deformities, and yet there 
was nought to disgust. Nay ; although afterwards I knew them 
in all their daring obscenity, all was so vast, so enormous, 
and the grand columns clustered in such confusion of magni- 
ficence, that the beastliness of some of their figures was forgotten 
in tiie unblushing hugeness that exhibited the deformity so 
openly. Vast, amorphous shadows formed a background to 
gray, towering piles of such proportions that caused me to 
marvel at their grand immensity ; square masses of brick and 
masonry standing there under the shades of the night in be- 
wildering grandeur, simple in their massive immobility, intricate 
in the dim vistas of colonnade and arch, x gate and stairway, 
column, altar and colossus. 

oc Tlie arcli is known in early architecture, but only in a crude form — a beam 
laid on the tops of two pillars, or the structure known as the " false arch," in 
which bricks or stones project in each layer until they meet at llie top. 



THE TEMPLE. 

I saw strange scenes that then I did not understand, and 
heard sounds of voices, and shrieks ; cries that seemed of 
terror, and the occasional clash of arms. How well, ah, how 
well was I to know that scene, and hear those sounds in days 
to come that then I recked not of, being amazed and bewil- 
dered by my tumult of emotions and delighted with the 
strangeness of it all. It was so real, so oppressive and won- 
derful, and the gray twilight so mysterious, that my senses 
were intoxicated, and I gazed on the lofty walls and anon 
over the dark waters with ecstacy. 

A sound fell on my ears above all the rest and grew louder 
and louder. It was the drum of the great temple of Zul, 
crowning the hill above the waters, that, being struck, rolled 
out like the awakening voice of Heaven over the city of the 
Sun, and looking up, I perceived the topmost tower flash like a 
polished mirror as the first rays of the returning Day struck on it. 

I wished to observe what might come, unseen, and, burning 
with curiosity, lighted on the topmost tower and mingled with 
the wavy flame, so pure was I then and so powerful. Far 
above the great ocean that laved the terraced cliff, and far 
above all the city that spread away into the dark shadows 
below ; beneath me, the temple, story on story, four-sided and 
flat-topped, each pyramidal and smaller than the one below, 
reared its mighty mass to Heaven, oc and, from immediately 

« From the very earliest times we find a pyramidal form used in building, 
probably not so much for the sake of the outline as for the fact that this form 
aids the effort to obtain vast dimensions with perfect solidity; and the ruins 
testifying to this are found in Babylonia, Egypt and America, while the form is 
seen in India in her grandest temple, the great pagoda at Tanjore, rising in 14 
stories to a height of nearly 200 ft. from a base 83 ft. square. 

In Babylonia the great mound Babil among the ruins of the capital, represents 
the temple of Bel, which was a pyramid of 8 square stages with a winding 
ascent to the top platform; and the mound of Birs Nimroud is all that is left of 
the "temple of the seven spheres" which was but 156 feet in height, but wonderful 
by reason of each of the seven stages being a mass of one colour different from 
the others. Of this class we find temples built in stages of 3, 5, or 7, — each of 
which numbers had a mystic significance. In Yucatan are found sculptured and 
architectural monuments of a coarse character, temples (teocallis) elevated far above 
the surrounding buildings on square basements, rising by huge steps to the 
summit in the form of a low truncated pyramid. 

The architecture of Egypt is too well known and too familiar to need any 



ATLANTIS. 

beneath me, the roar of the drum swelled louder and more 
sonorous, reverberating through the quiet atmosphere; then died 
slowly away in tremulous waves of sound most beautiful to my 
cars as they floated afar. 

And now the flame on the golden tower in which I was, 
which stood in the centre of the topmost roof wafted by the 
sea-breezes, seemed to have become absorbed in the glory of 
the Sun and vanished in the splendour, and from the shadows 
of the base of the tower a dark figure moved to the edge of 
the platform facing the brightness. It was a man, and with a 
great curiosit)- 1 gazed upon this one individual atom of the human 
Life of Karth. that in manifested form could move apart from 
the rest and live with his own separate functions. And methought 
there was a strange sympathy between us, for he started and 
gazed up towards where I hung in airy flame, and then turned 
and looked long on the flashing beauty of the ocean and the 
shades beneath. His attitude betokened adoration, and once, 
twice, three times he bowed his whole body with outstretched 
hands towards the glory of the sunrise. 

Very far off inland I perceived mountains among golden fields 
of wheat, and other cities, and abundant verdure covered the 
fair, shadowy Earth, where rivers ran and lakes reflected the 
tiny pink clouds and the city walls and battlements. After, I 
learned that the mighty piles were built by the enforced labour 
of concjuered nations of physique and presence immeasurably 
inferior to the white conquerors in their midst, and who had 

(Ifsciiption here, hut hy no means is llie pyramid an exclusively Egyptian form, 
as we see. 

or the architecture of Zul we have no comi)arative measurements, and with the 
one v.igue statement on p. 14— "greater than great Babylon," and the bare 
description, we must imagine an architecture at least equal to Egypt in her prime. 
( )f all the wonders of these mighty works surely the greatest is the size of the 
blocks of stone used in their construction. Professor Lewis tells us that the very 
ancient Egyptians must have reached a proficiency in the mechanical arts of which 
we can form no concejition, ])y reason that they were able to quarry rocks 
of even granite and to move tliem to great distances, polishing their almost iron 
sides and carving upon them, raising huge masses that would puzzle our most 
powerful ai>pliances of to-day to move. Nor in this again were the Egyptians 
uni«iue, for in America, at Txmal, Tihuanaco, I'alenque and other places are 
found stupendous ruins, of wliich the huge idocks had been brought into shape 
ami angle witliout (lie ust' of iron. 

10 



THE TEMPLE. 

been there since, as their old traditions told, the entrance of 
that first man and woman from the East, where great Gabriel 
guarded the gates of Eden, from whom had sprung a nation 
that subjugated all around by its arts and prowess. 

Lost in contemplation, I surveyed the massive architecture 
and rejoiced in the solemn and shadowy grandeur of the city 
as it lay vast and magnificent, with the flames of its many 
temples leaping and swaying like bright spirits from the Sun 
that never sleep nor die. 

There was a great palace, vast and striking beyond all the 
rest, enclosing a courtyard of palms and pleasant verdure with 
red towers and pylons and sweeping terraces of steps, grim 
and massive as the halls of Hell oc and in truth holding as 
much sin. Yet then I knew it not, and did but gaze in 
wrapt pleasure on the mighty structures that rose in impious 
pride above the gloom lying in a wan purple cloud over the 
gardens that faced the sea beyond the temple, and noted 
the open spaces of the Circus and the market-place yawning 
darker than the wide streets. I saw the square pile of the 
Museum, and palaces of nobles ; a round temple, that I 
afterwards knew to be that of the virgin Goddess Neptsis, 
whose emblem was a serpent, and whose son, the Lord of Light, 
was worshipped in Zul, standing conspicuously, near by which 

a. Dining the earliest periods of archiieclure a similar style appears to have 
been universal, and indeed survives to this day in many parts of the world. 
The old Pueblos of Mexico — the successors to the Pallos of Atlantis, wtre generally 
one enormous building occupying three sides of a court, (see note y p. 25). Of 
the very oldest styles of architecture the pyramidal proportions before referred to, 
and great flights of steps, are the most striking features. Although not used, as 
we shall see. in the Pueblos, a stairway would of necessity be a simple and 
obvious idea. We learn that in some of the Peruvian Htiacas^ which I take to be 
Pueblos, there are considerable remains of staircases, and these useful fixtures were 
in vogue among the Chinese. In many vast ruins in Yucatan and Central America 
explored by Mr. Stephens in 1838 they are found, where temples and palaces of 
an almost invariably pyramidal form, built in several stages with wide terraces, 
were reached by grand flights of steps. 

We are told that the principal building at Uxmal seems to have been a very 
magnificent pyramid in three stages or terraces, faced with hewn stone, and neatly 
rounded at the angles. The first ten-ace is 575 ft. long, 15 ft. broad, and 3 ft. 
high, serving as a sort of plinth to the whole ; the second terrace is 545 ft. long, 
250 ft. wide and 20 ft. high; the third terrace is 360 ft. long, by 30 ft. wide, 

II 



ATLANTIS. 

were the temples ot Winged things, the Serpent, and the Moon. 
I saw the fortifications stretching far as the eye could see, and 
below, the cliff facing the sea, where it declined to the level 
of the beach and formed a bay ; the harbour and water-way and 
an outer protecting reef of rocks. 

The roar of the drum was answered in the far-echoing spaces 
for a long time, by others on the surrounding temples, and 
the music of a myriad birds arose to my delighted ears. I 
perceived many people to be approaching, and, mounting the 
stairway running up the eastern front of the temple of "The 
Lord of Light" — Zul — came a long procession, the leaders 
chanting a hymn to the Divinity. Up, up, from the comparative 
gloom, until the sunlight brightened the yellow mantles of the 
leading priests and flashed back from helmets and armour and 
the gorgeous cloaks of those following. It was the procession 
of the Emperor's household and the great nobles. 

Upwards they came with a growing hum of voices and clatter 
of feet, reaching each terrace successively, where ten men could 
walk abreast, until a zig-zag of bright colour reached from top 
to bottom as the priests stepped onto the platform of the highest 
roof. r^oUowing them came many priestesses, for the god Zul 
was sujjposed to partake within himself of the nature of both 
sexes and was equally served by both, and by twos the succes- 
sors followed them until over fifteen score were gathered beneath 
my enraptured eyes, delighted to watch their movements and 

and 19 ft. in height. From the centre of the second terrace the upper part is 
gained l>y a vast flight of well-constructed steps 130 ft. wide. This leads to the 
temple the fagade of which is no less than 322 ft. long, but has not had a greater 
elevation than 25 ft., yet its grandeur is enhanced by the rich sculpture that 
covers the upper part above a fillet, or cornice, that surrounds the whole building 
at about half its elevation. The interior consists of two parallel rows of chambers, 
eleven in each row. The front apartments are entered by eleven doorways, 
enriched with sculpture, which give sufficient light to those rooms; but the posterior 
row receives no light except what enters by their doors from the exterior rooms. 
In the Central American architecture we have before us a very significant fact, 
that llie chambers in the buildings, like the peculiar architecture of Assyria, have 
generally a length disproportionate to their width, whereas the Egyptian halls 
were s(iuare. One Yucatan building, for example, is in disproportion as 4 to I, the 
halls of Assyria were 4 or even 8 times longer than wide, and in both lands the 
thickness of wall is enormous — from 15 to 30 ft. Also jhe Assyrian Iniildings 
wt-re raised upon mounls and a[)pro.iched by great flights of steps. 

12 



THE TEMPLE. 

hear all that they said. Beneath their feet plates of gold 
gleamed sombre in the shadows cast; from their midst arose 
the golden tower, a pyramid of light, with the imper- 
ishable flame waving like a vapour over it, in which I lay 
entranced. Within this tower was the drum and also within 
it was kept the victorious standard of the nation, the sacred 
symbol of victory — a Cross with four arms stretching horizon- 
tally, signifying the national prowess North, South, East and 
West — the old, rough rally-signal carried by the Emperor 
Tekthah from the North. Afterwards I knew that all the other 
cities had, in their Temple of the Sun, that same emblem, 
feared and venerated throughout the land and — Oh, confusion 
as I write! — worshipped as a god. There also stood an altar 
on that roof, overlaid with gold, and all was bright save the 
dark man I had first seen come from the tower, which one 
still remained on the edge looking towards the Sun, and to 
whom a priestess handed a little smoking bowl. 

The men before me were tall and godhke and of excellent 
stature, and I knew them afterwards to be sons of Tekthah and 
some of the great Tzantans x and Patriarchs — chiefs of the ar- 
mies, Polemarchs, and tribe leaders. There were women too, 
on whom I gazed with exceeding admiration, for they were of 
beautiful form ; conspicuous among them stoodest thou, my 
Love, shining as the moon among stars— the Empress Azta, 
her tawny hair, where golden streams seemed to move in 
waves of light, fastened above her head by a pin crowned by 
a butterfly of gold and very large as to size; her yellow eyes 
heavy and slumbrous and their fires dull, as new awaked from 
sleep. There were daughters of the Imperial household and of 
the favoured chiefs, and many that were concubines of Tekthah, 
which last were very splendid in their* persons and majestic in 
carriage, and some of them were of other races. Upon their 



X The word Tzantan is probably the original of the Accadian Tur-dan^ a title 
of the chief officer in the army. The name Tartan of the Holy Scriptures 
(2 Kgs. XVni. 17) is the Hebrew form of this, and the Apache Nantan seems to 
have some affinity to it. Also, perhaps, the Servian Zupan. 

Tzan, akin to Czar, Coezar, is another form of the same meaning, of which the 
first appears to be a diminutive. 

13 



ATLANTIS. 

faces lay thickly powdered white pearl-dust, and as they smiled 
they disclosed their teeth in which were set flashing gems, 
which gave them a strange appearance. 

Some of the men's faces were half concealed by large beards, 
nearly all black, falling from under their helmets of various 
shapes according to their rank and following, and flowing over 
their polished breast-plates. Their hair was as long as that of 
the women, but coarser, and I learnt that in war the thick 
tresses were rolled around the neck under closed visors to 
afford additional protection and make an elastic shield under 
the metal. Among these ebon chevelures the red-brown one 
of Huitza, first son of the Tzan Tekthah, (which was King over 
all the land,) and a very splendid prince, was conspicuous by 
contrast, with its subtle effects of yellow. From the colour he 
was supposed to be particularly favoured of the Sun, and the 
people's hopes leaned to him, their idol, builder of the great 
province of Tek-Ra : whose Empress-mother, Atlace, had hidden 
her baby boy, begotten by a celestial lover, until such time as 
she could mingle him with the unremembered crowd and claim 
him as a child of the Throne. He stood now the real, though 
not openly acknowledged, leader of the armies of the mightiest 
power of Atlantis and the World^ — the Last-created. 

My eye roved over the gay throng, but ever returned to 
Azta; and, O Zul, I looked upon thee, thou fair abode of Evil, 
greater than Great Babylon, yet unheard of and unknown. Every 
terrace of the great temple was filled with worshippers, and 
the roofs of all the other temples were swarming with super- 
stitious idolaters fresh from some wild orgie of the night, and 
by reason of my perception of spirits I saw their thoughts 
turning on their wanton excesses and planning more in their 
hearts, while their crossed hands and bent heads revealed a 
mockery of adoration. Through a tube the dark man upon the 
edge of the platform inhaled the smoke from the bowl, which 
he expelled in clouds towards the four quarters of the heavens, y. 

The yellow-robed priests, with wild movements indicative 

X This custom was always practised as an invocation by the American tribes, among 
whom tobacco smoking and chewing, (especially the former,) were universal and 
immemorial usages. 

14 



THE TEMPLE. 

of joy, broke into a weird chant, and in the pauses the faint 
echo of the distant myriads rose into the pure air with wonderful 
beauty from below and afar. The god had arisen I a thousand 
voices shouted in rapture as from the shadows flashed tower 
and sculptured column, and like a coloured carpet the city rose 
through the mist. 

And who could dream a fairer dream of all the wealth of 
Earth ! There stood revealed the massive grandeur of enormous 
piles of wonder and awe, scarce o'ertopped by mighty trees of 
thy many groves, cooled by lakelets and fountains, surrounded 
by colonnades and courts and the lacy beauty of palms, ablaze 
with the flaming blossoms of the yellow sartreel bushes and the 
crimson flowers of the pomegranate, lovely with the columned 
arches and the statues surpassingly beautiful. O excellent in 
majesty, would that I had never seen thee ! 

And then a fleeting idea of my mission ran though me, but I 
wondered why and how I must fulfil it, my thoughts immediately 
becoming fixed on the scene before my eyes, causing much per- 
plexity to me, as the dark man which stood against the sun now, 
with movements representing terror, leaped towards the golden 
tower, everyone making hasty room. For a short space he 
disappeared and then, mounting the interior, stood out before me 
on the highest summit, distinct and clear against the bright sky. 

The dark mantle was thrown open — torn ofl" — cast into the 
flame, that consumed it in a breath — and the pantomime of 
Night fleeing before Day was over as the High Priest Acoa, the 
" Voice of God," stood forth in a gleaming garment of the universal 
yellow and bowed in adoration to the flashing dawn. 

Priest of Zul, I rejoice that thy deep lore was locked within 
thy bosom, for thou knewest indeed more than many of Our- 
selves. This same was a furious fanatic, believing, heart and 
soul, in his god, and zealous of the observances of the rites 
of his temple. Thus ever dweUing on the divinity, with a 
feverish zeal, he would have sacrificed Tekthah himself or his 
own person even to the " Lord of Light." How wondrous an 
influence is fanaticism on the heart of man! Unreasoning, 
devoted, it is almost noble by its very unselfishness and stead- 
fastness of purpose, by its fury and its zeal. 

15 



CAP. II. 



THE INTERIOR. 



The god comes! A myriad voices hailed him from temple 
and house-top. The kneeling thousands bowed in real emotional 
adoration now, the gay crowd on Zul in weary compliance to 
custom. With the virtue of the dark cloak of Acoa I became 
more aware of the meaning of all I saw; and bear Thou 
witness now, O Elohim, x who knows and understands all, and 
perceives how the torment of the spirit forces foolishness from 
the lips, that to none is showed the hidden things nor the 
accomplishment of those great affairs that I revealed to such 
as lived then. For in my impious pride and profound despair 
I dared to raise the rebellious head, but all those are dead 
which saw my works and none shall know them more. » 

I perceived that the people were daringly and defiantly 
weary, preferring to look with bold glances upon one another 
to bending their thoughts on worship. But to the mass of the 
people the glowing orb was a terrific Thing to be appeased 
— the Father of Flame as well as Lord of Light, and King of the 
leaping Spirits that ever dwelled on their temples— ruler of the 

X There are four names by which God was known of old: Adonai, Lord or 
Possessor: Shaddai, Almighty: Jehovah, the self-existing one; and Elohim, God, 
the Covenant-keeper, and Lord of the Universe. 

The word Elohim is probal^ly derived from the Hebrew word " Alah " to swear, 
in supjKirt of which we have the Arabic "Allah", God, an almost identical word. 
Our Lord's last words from the Cross also seem to indicate this meaning: "Eli, 
Eli, lama sabachthani ". That is to say, "My God, my God"... where is the 
covenant! And in .S. Mark it is still nearer : "Eloi, Eloi . . . ". The word Elohim 
or Elim is the plural of El, chief of the Piinenician divinities. 

I understand that the origin of the word "Javeh" or Jehovah appears to be lost 
in mystery, but apparently indicates One who w, and is Eternal, and true to his 
covenant: and of these two names, wiiich are frequently used, each with its own 
significance, Elokiin is regarded as treating natural, Jehovah revealed, religion. 

i6 



THE INTERIOR. 

internal fires that devoured them in thunder, to whom the 
messenger of Zul flew in the bright lightning and raised in 
frightful revolt from hidden cares in the mountains; those dis- 
tant hills, from which, to the west, towering Axatlan lifted her 
high cone with its coronet of fire and smoke. 

From every corner of the great city arose the voice of prayer 
and praise, and now the High Priest descended from the central 
tower to the platform. The wild clangour of a song boomed 
and clashed out, and a silence of death lay over all. 

It was the signal for a sacrifice. A death was to take place 
up there in the pure, holy calm of the early morning, and 
with that unappeasable appetite of the terrible human heart to 
gloat over suffering, an appetite that never wearies, the mul- 
titudes strained their eyes upwards to the temple platform, and 
those too far off to see were yet pleasantly aware of what 
was transpiring. For, despite bloody carnivals, brutal scenes 
of torture and devilish butcheries on a ghastly scale, there was 
yet something in the solemnity of the hour that startled the 
ghoulish appetites and made the pulses beat with a pleasant 
interest. 

Up the stairway came the Procession of Atonement, the 
attendant priests robed in black, the victim in the middle, in 
silence deep and profound, broken by a weird chant from the 
priestesses. 

The sad procession moved slowly ; and moved by an intuition, 
I knew something dreadful was about to happen, yet, alasl so 
curious was I, I moved not one step to its hindrance. 

I perceived a feeling of natural horror to pervade the 
multitudes as the dark butcher stood silhouetted against the 
sky and seized the victim as he stepped on to the platform — 
a grisly pantomime that often resulted in a terrible struggle, 
the more fearful to those below from its silence and desperate 
earnestness. 

As now, it always resulted in the same thing — the victim 
being carried to the golden altar facing the sunrise and bound 
down securely. The High Priest raised his voice in a poetic 
appeal to the Sun, then one gash of a dagger of obsidian 
laid open the victim's breast, from which the butcher's fingers 

17 2 



ATLANTIS. 

tore the pulsating heart. Raised aloft, the gory trophy, yet 
oozing its living blood, was offered to the Sun, and a myriad 
voices countenanced the murder. 

A reproach entered my mind, a feeling of mortified annoyance 
that I had allowed curiosity to so overcome my just interference. 
I looked, marvelling, on the victim, for I had no knowledge 
of death, and perceived him to be a Clay and immoveable; 
and although I did not quite comprehend what had been done, 
yet I knew by his former acts and the people's that all was 
not well, and indeed, most improper. Yet I confess that I 
did not care to fully comprehend before, being anxious to 
witness what I might. 

In a profound silence the crowds wended their way downwards; 
the morning worship was over. Through every street they 
threaded, looking like ants from Zul's stately height, as one 
vast body made up of tiny units, that, studied individually, 
exhibited individual characteristics, but were all alike in the 
issue. The unbiassed mind of one was the unbiassed mind of 
all. As the pebbles of the beach looked at in a mass form 
one great plain, yet each has a different shape and no two 
would fit the same hole ; but taken individually or as a mass 
there is the same groundwork. Also among them may be 
gems, pearls, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and the commoner 
precious stones. I reflected deeply on them and considered 
their ways and passions without at all understanding what I 
had already seen, nor dreamed that in those evil hearts burned 
the seed of the madness that would one day murder the Son 
of God, their own Creator and mine. 

O fools! who worshipped the work and not the Maker, and 
preferred any god to the all-powerful one! In the empire 
cities of Chusa, Aten, Lote, Talascan, and a hundred others 
the same rites had been observed, for though bowing the knee 
to many divinities, the Lord of Light was esteemed first, the 
mightiest, most popular and dreaded. 

All had gone, and with a desire to allow busy works to 
cover that weary feeling of reproach, I looked upon the shadowy 
mass of the temple, whose high front facing the sun was refulgent 
above the pearly tints below. Considering it well, I entered 



TriE INTERIOR. 

downwards into the great cool chambers, dark after the morning 
glow above, and whose thick walls kept out all heat of the 
Sun, and noted the bold paintings therein. Here all was still 
and silent; I was alone with those coloured portrayals that 
spoke to me with an unknown tongue; but after, when 1 
understood, I wondered at the daring audacit}- that conspired 
to mingle Heaven and Earth in obscene confusion as there 
represented. Together with the serpent, which was of that 
species bearing upon its swelling neck the emblem of the Sun. ;;: 
A great bird appeared to hold high place in these imaginations 
— the vulture, which, preying upon the entrails of the dead, 
soared to the eternal presence of the gods with the released 
spirit which would otherwise lose its way. All over the land 
the foul birds were worshipped as the messengers of the gods, 
and temples were erected in their honour — the honour of a 
created thing 1 

The secondary chambers, buried in the enormous mass of 
the temple, were cold and gloomy, tall columned vaults of 
shade where no sound ever entered and no air stirred, and 
where intricate passages led to still darker places beyontl 
number. And here dwelt those priests and priestesses which 
ministered to the divinity, entombed in the twilight all their 
lives ; for the light, entering by scjuare apertures, or through 
distant brazen doors which turned within stone pivots, here 
had to traverse a great thickness of wall, and lighted the inner 
vaults but feebly, and in awe I gazed around, oppressed b)- 
the silence and gloom, while from around peered diabolical 
faces, grim and immobile, from the colossi supporting the dark 
roofs. Three on every side they stood, those giant forms of 
stone, as though they had been there from the beginning of 
the world, gazing on a dark altar in the central gloom, on 
which, upheld by three dragons with outstretched wings, was 
a stone sarcophagus. This chamber was to contain the mortal 

X This may in<licate a species uf cojjfa having; a ciixnilar inarlviiiL; iiiion ii- 
••liood." or may refer lo the ••hood"' iuelf. Here we may note that the (Hily 
difference between the Indian cobra and th,e I-'i^yptian hitjr i- i!\e --pectacledike 
maikint; upim llie back of tlie former's neck, bolh s]n'cie> liavinL; tlie >kin of ilie 
neck hiose and dilatable at will. 

19 



ATLANTIS. 

remains of Tekthah, whose dust, being burned to an ash, would 
rest in the sarcophagus, built by him for that end, and I 
wondered at the earthly idea that would wish to lie there in 
the gloom watched by those stony figures until all of Earth 
should cease. Ah, man, thou couldst not read the book of 
fate. On the high roofs were bats that hung like little dark 
devils and sometimes squeaked as their bones touched one 
another's, while their evil eyes flared at times upon me. 

With a strange feeling almost of fear I went downwards into 
the third floor of chambers, and, as a great moth, flitted here and 
there in a chamber from which led many galleries. My wings 
brushed the long webs of spiders in the dark roofs, and upon the 
gross bosom of a colossus I poised high up to consider the ways 
stretching in dark avenues hither and thither. In those soundless 
spaces was no sign of life or movement, but afar off" I perceived a 
light which I believed came from one of the cave-like opening 
in the outer walls, and speeding thence by an instinct that 
overcame me, found myself in the chamber of the High Priest. 

Buried within those walls, above the earth yet within it, 
there stood the dark man, bending over a little flame on a 
brazier, that showed up his clear, hollow, ghastly face and 
vivid eyes and long white hair, leaving his lower figure in the 
gloom of the vault, and making the shadows of the place 
fearful. Methought he gazed anxiously, for he shaded his eyes 
with both palms and stared with trembling intensity into the 
flame, that rolled in a purple-red coil topped by the orange 
brightness, and then turned swiftly towards a faint disc of light 
away in the gloom. He cried aloud in a fearful voice of rage 
and command, extending his long, skeleton claws over the 
flame, his whole form dilated and exalted, his face transformed 
and his eyes like a devil's. 

Wondering that no inspiration entered my mind to address 
him, I watched, heavy with the great chill and gloom. Suddenly 
the faint disc brightened until a golden light flooded the vault and 
struck on the opposite wall, where mystic emblems and figures 
were grouped in mysterious configuration. It was the light of 
the Sun which entered and was flashed back from a mirror of 
obsidian, lighting the whole space and disclosing its contents. 

20 



THE INTERIOR. 

The little flame struggled and coiled. Three of the symbols 
on the wall moved to a certain place and stood still. Acoa, 
his face vivified to a terrible degree, watched, and then cried 
aloud : " Conceive, O thou pregnant one ! Bring forth that 
which is in thee! " 

From the flame arose a white amorphous shape, vague and 
horrible. The man had ceased to breathe and was gazing 
with an intensity of soul on the spectral figure, that writhed 
in horrible contortions, yet so indistinct that nought could be 
seen of what it was. The Thing emitted a very faint sound 
and then appeared to dissolve in the shadows, and the High 
Priest fell prone on the floor. The disc was darkening and 
methought the life of the man was going with the brightness, 
and I felt sad at the thought what the mortal part was so 
frail. But, as I stood regarding him, he arose and retired to 
his stone couch and laid himself thereon, murmuring many 
things that I did not understand. So I left him. 

The fourth chambers were around me, filled with warmth 
and a deep lurid glow issuing from the centre of the floor 
where yawned a square bright opening. I was filled with 
mystery and awe, and the sensation that I was in unknown 
depths, nor perceived any end to the other chambers stretching 
right left. The one I stood in was immense, and columns 
threw great shadows away from the central light that appeared 
at times to flare more brightly. Pictures with bold, luminous 
outlines stood out in the farther shadows, mystic representations 
somewhat similar to those in the first chamber mostly, I found, 
depicting the wondrous conception of Neptsis and labour with 
the hermaphrodite Zul. <z Wild and horrible the phosphoric 
representations stood, flickering and smoking, and at certain 
times an indefinable sound echoed round the gloomy vault, 
while the eyes of the colossi clustering round the columns moved 



X The Sun is usually a female divinity among Turanians, in earlier religions 
the moon being often considered of the male sex. The Esquimo regard the moon 
as a man who visits the earth, and again as a girl whose face is spotted by ashes 
thrown at her by the sun. Among the Hindu Khasias the Sun is a woman and 
the moon a man, and in the Andaman Islands the Sun is the wife of the moon. 
Among aboriginal Hindus the moon is the bride of the Sun. 

21 



ATLANTIS. 



and glittered from on high as though the stony abortions 
actually lived. No sound disturbed the awful calm where stood 




THOSE WHOM GOD HATH CHAINED FOR EVER. 

those giant forms, save only at times that weird sigh or moan, 
or what it might have been, that seemed to come from nowhere 
and return thither. 

22 



THE INTERIOR. 

* A fear seized me, a new strange feeling I had never known 
before, and an inclination to mount thence with speed and 
seek my native skies ; and yet I longed to see and know more, 
and the curiosity overcame the sudden trembling fear. 

And thus in trepidation I explored the fifth central chamber, 
of which I could see every part, being, as it were, a great pit 
of light in which tossed a sea of molten gold. Three figures 
of superior size sat around the bright wonder, with faint, half- 
imagined shadows playing over them, and my spirit sank with 
the dread feeling that I stood in some awful presence. Sublime 
in their majestic stillness they sat, gazing with inscrutable faces 
downwards, carven from the solid rock that formed the cone 
of a volcano. In awe I gazed on their calm grandeur, and 
methought they gazed on me; and I cried in my heart that it 
was small wonder that man was so esteemed who could create 
such as this. I yet deemed it might not be of human skill, 
and believing myself to be beyond the World and in the 
petrified presence of Those whom God hath chained for ever, 
I fled upward precipitately, nor ceased my strenuous flight until 
I hovered far above the city in the gleam of the sun. 



23 



CAP. III. 



TEKTHAH. 



Now Tekthah was the son of Lamech and brother of Noah 
the Righteous, remembering also the children of Seth the son 
of Adam, by his wife Lilith, (which was also his sister) cc and 
the children of all the sons of Adam, spread abroad and 
multiplied into nations very great and powerful. And being of 
a bloody nature and of vast ambition he had conceived great 
ideas, and with all the families of Lamech his father and the 
families of the sons of Mathusaleh and of all the sons of Enoch 
and Jared, (the beauty of whose daughters first tempted the 
sons of God to stray), he had crossed the sea from his own 
land to found an empire. /3 

Upon the north coast landing, with all their flocks and herds, 
with cruel arms and many warriors advancing, taught of Azazel 
in the art of war, the inhabitants were swept before them in 
ruin and downfall ; and along their path of dreadful conquest 
they built great citadels where the ground was steep and high, 
half hewn in the rock, half built above, terrace above terrace, 
with galleries and corridors and ladders to climb upon, which, 
being pulled up, rendered access impossible. These great Pallos 
were as one huge fort, full of rooms and very strong, y and 

a. Ilie custom was observed in Egypt of marrying sister to brother in the 
royal line. 

/3 An analogy, which I am not competent to discuss, appears to me to exist 
between this passage of the Adamites and the legendary start of the Nahoas or 
Toltecs from the unknown Iluelme or Tlapallan, which they left in consequence 
of a revolution ; but which event, however, is said to have taken place shortly before 
the Christian era The account states apparently that seas and countries intervened 
between them and their native land before they reached America. 

y These most remarkable buildings, (i. e. those built of brick or stone,) are 
apijarently in later history only found among the oldest Americans and we 

24 



TEKTHAH. 

the chief of them was called Surapa, which was in the province 
of Astra. Nor was there anything lost by so building, for it 
was by this discovered where lay the yellow gold and the 
mines of gems, and where good stone was, and clay for making 
bricks. 

And thus with expanding minds they marched southwards 
until they came to the tall volcano that looked above the waters, 
whereon they built a Pallo and fought a great battle, establishing 
themselves there. And for their protection they digged a wide 
moat, far-reaching and deep ; in intervals of peace increasing 
and multiplying greatly, for that was a very fat land. 

And there being but few women, each took unto herself as 
many husbands as she chose, and round the Pallo, which they 
called Zul and by which they worshipped the sun, sprang up 
a village, a town, a city, a great city, a city of grand buildings 

generally one huge construction occupying three sides of a court, built on the 
pyramidal step system, but possessing no apparent internal means of ascent, being 
mounted by moveable ladders. Such structures were probably the outcome of a 
vital necessity to protect a small colony of agriculturists from the depredations of 
less civilized nomads, and their remains are scattered throughout central America 
and Mexico, on mountain and in forest, many occ ipied now by Indians. There 
are the great structures of Pueblo Pintado, the Pueblos of Taos, San Juan, Zuiii, 
Hungo Pavie, and of Pecos, this last estimated by Bandelier to be the largest 
aboriginal structure of stone in the United States, with a circuit of 1480 ft., 5 storeys 
in height, and once including by calculation t;oo rooms. There is the wonderful 
rock citadel of Acoma, whose 600 inhabitants live between earih and sky, and 
Pueblo Bonilo, on the Chacos, 1716 ft. in circuit, with 641 rooms and an estimated 
population of 3000 Indians. 

I have seen stated an opinion that the Aztec city of Mexico was but a vast Pueblo, 
but I think this is highly improbable, as the wonder of such a construction would 
be certainly greater than an ordinary city of scattered buildings; and it would have 
taken cleverer men than the followers of Cortez and Piznrro to have fabricated 
cities and polities like those of Mexico aud Peru. 

The northern Indians, the Iroquois and Nez-Perces, also followed the com- 
munistic idea in their "long-house." such as one described by Lewis and Clarke 
on the Columbia river; a single house 150 ft. long, built of sticks, straw, and 
dried grass, containing 24 fires, about doul:)le that number of families, and num- 
bering about 100 fighting men. This represents a communal household of nearly 
500 people, and another building of the same race (Nechecolees) was lar{;er, being 
226 ft. long. Some tribes of the Amazon and of Borneo have such houses. 

It is interesting to trace the etymology of the word Pallo, in Pueblo, palace? 
and the Egyptian Pharaoh, which last word is very curious as embodying the 
communistic idea, representing the Egyptian words Per-aa^ "great house [in which 
men live]." 

25 



TEKTHAH. 

and later ornamentation, and the temple, built on the crest of 
the volcano, crowned the height of progress. 

Now in all this time the people were not idly resting on their 
triumph, for parties continually sallied forth to farther conquests 
and found new cities. Whereby the Tzantan Iztli swept the 
far province of Trocoatla, and Rhadaman the son of Maroa, a 
concubine of Tekthah, carried conquest afar; and many others 
did likewise, Huitza adding the province of Tek-Ra to the 
territories of the nation. 

Until at last the whole great land of Atlantis was subservient 
to Tekthah, yet only such parts as were fairest being occupied ; 
and such savage races as menaced the frontiers were kept afar 
by the terror of their conquerors. These latter also among 
themselves caused dissensions, for there were ambitious spirits 
among them who wished to follow the example of Tekthah and 
form a kingdom for themselves; but as a terrible lesison to all 
such rebels, the warriors of Rhadaman lay round the pallo of 
Zoe, (the mother of the dead chief Tygan, who wished to seize 
a Queendom for herself,) until such time as famine forced them 
to surrender, and then one hundred and fifty-four of the 
froward ones were carried to Zul, and died horrible deaths. 
In likewise fell the pallos of Adiar, Vul and Amarek, and there 
was given full allegiance to the might of Tekthah. 

Then, with peace, there arose a great discussion among the 
leaders of the allied families as to Tekthah's position, he resting 
as a ruler over all and dictating affairs. But this with prudent 
forethought perceiving, he had formed around him a very strong 
confederacy, there being, besides his own giant brood, his uncle 
Mehir, (sprung from Azura, daughter of Adam, x) and the Tzan- 
tans Nezca, Amal, Shar-Jatal, Izta, Toloc, Ombar, Colosse and 
and many more great and powerful. And especially Nezca 
advised him strongly as to what poHcy he should adopt and 
how he should bind the hearts of people. So the patriarchs 
and chief warriors in a great council, called upon him to declare 
his intent, and the issue was that Tekthah's commanding front 

X This name, and that of Avan, (p. 76), are the only names we possess of 
any daughters of Adam, but an old tradition says he had twenty-three daughters 
and thirty-three sons. 

27 



ATLANTIS. 

and gracious promises caused him to be recognized as the ruler 
over all the land, he pointing out that such course were wise 
as their brethren might arrive from across the seas and attempt 
to take from them the fruits of all their heavy labours. But 
this in the issue they never did, but lay in their forwardness 
and increasing evil until the waters drowned them with the Earth. 
Yet Tekthah was also compelled to agree that one chosen of 
the nation should be always with him to act for the people's wel- 
fare and protection. 

And being thus, he took on a great pomp and circumstance, 
yet with politic circumspection ; and to please the people (acting 
also by the advice of Acoa) he caused grand services to be 
celebrated with horrid bloodshed in the temples of Zul and 
others, drenching the new altars with the blood of captives. He 
built a Circus and instituted games and competitions therein, 
securing powerful adherents by distributing new posts of honour 
and military glory, and with the enforced labour and aid of 
thousands of captives working with soaked wedges, rollers, and 
levers, he constructed his great red palace with stone from the 
province of Axatlan, and many more buildings of vast size, so 
that the city of Zul became a wonder and an awe in the land*. 
And in manner becoming to so great a ruler, he established a 
great national polity, setting up around him certain of his sons 
and others as judges over the people, to whom was given the 
power of calling upon the officers of legions to enforce laws, 
punishments being meted out for various offences. To aid him 
in government he created princes, counsellors, captains, rulers 
of territories, governors, treasurers, rulers of tribes and private 
domestic officers and overseers ; while by word of mouth 
teachers were instructed in many arts and knowledge was greatly 
propagated. 

And Thanaron, the celestial master of Ophie, daughter of 
Jared, invented a kalendar by which seasons were divided; and 
Armers showed how to prepare the smoking-herbs for enjoyment of 
inhalation, many other things being invented and put forward. 

All over the land cities began to grow from villages surround- 
ing pallos to huge walled marvels, taking unto themselves 
standards and insignia; fields of wheat sprang from the kindly 

28 



TEKTHAH. 

earth, and a navy was built which could sail round the moat of 
Zul and across the sea to certain islands which lay upon the 
horizon. The pleasant arts of peace were opened to all to 
increase, and with security ended that slaughter of female 
children (which was of necessity when useless mouths but 
hindered warriors' progress). Yet none might say who was his 
father, for every woman had many husbands; and indeed 
wherever I looked the policy of man ran contrary to all natural 
creation. And by many means the proportion of the females 
very greatly increased, some being stolen away and sold to a 
distant master, who disposed of the male offspring as slaves, 
which soon died, and thus the women were preserved to the 
great increase of the nation. 

And before this had there sprung up a new race x by reason 
of the Last-created taking unto themselves mistresses from among 
the captives, and by indiscriminate misdemeanors, which offspring, 
degraded, and unowned, became servants and slaves, being also 
encouraged to multiply to aid the supply. 

Tekthah, Tzan of Atlantis, with a brilliant court, led the nation 
afar from its upright paths, followed willingly enough, for indeed 
human nature ever sins naturally. The cities of the land followed 
whatsoever the capital led. 

The nation halted. 

The desire and instinct of progress and development, that, 
formed by congregation and led by a few energetic minds, 
precocious children in Life's nursery, manifested itself in the 
eager restlessness, the collecting into potential communities and 
the desire for civilization and its benefits, was satisfied with a 
power that was able to supply itself with every need and luxury, 
falling before the temptation of slothful enjoyment and turning 
its vast warlike energies on the satisfaction of carnal lusts. The 

X Here we have a plain statement as to the origin of a new race of mankind 
which verifies the theory of Max Miiller. This distinguished scientist says, in the 
course of one of his lectures — "New mixtures of mixed or mongrel offspring with 
other or with pure breeds will make confusion even worse confounded, and after 
hundreds and thousands of years the very possibility of pure breeds may very 
justly be doubted. How then should we dare in our days to classify mankind 
according to such variable peculiarities as colour, skull or hair?" Personally I do 
not quite agree in toto to this, but to a very great extent I think it to be correct. 

29 



ATLANTIS. 

proud bearinf^ and haughty impetuosity of conscious masters of 
Earth grew into an arrogance at perceiving the works of their 
hands flourish and the desire for vast effect gratified ; and by 
reason of the appearance among them of celestial beings who 
showed them the revelations of mysteries, they gazed entranced 
with daring knowledge on the hidden things. Forsaking their 
pure instinctive religion they began to worship idols, and with 
that strong human feeling that belongs especially to primitive 
minds, of a desire to worship something visible and tangible, 
they bowed down to conceptions of their own minds, and the 
wonders of the Heavens which they represented by them, x Such 
were the Sun, and gems supposed to be born of sunbeams, and 
the dragon which guarded them and was the emblem of the sun, 
the moon and stars, the male and female ox, the cat, the frog /3 
and other things, to each of which was given a legend which 
was in part a fact ; yet all these were but created things. They 
believed their forefather Adam to have been a god, and deified 
all those hoary elders whose terrible years brought such vast 
experience, magnifying the deeds which they had done until 
they assumed an appearance surpassing all of Earth. And 
these they also worshipped under various emblems, nor wag 
there any end to their imagining. 

They became more violent in their ideas, and as with luxury 
their minds grew licentious and imaginative, so also did their 
religion, and at length they had the most sensual and debased 
mythology that the subtlety of their evil minds could conceive; 
not sparing their ancestors the obscene representations of mys- 
tical creation. And in every temple, in every pleasant grove 
and palmy garden sat enthroned an effigy of some god, de- 
graded and bestial, and each man took unto himself a divinity 

X Tile Atlantean religion was in advance, perhaps we may say, of all traces 
that are understood of the religion of prehistoric times, which is supposed to be 
Xature-worship alone, with no representations to aid the imagination. Rut that a 
people so powerful and of such perceptions should conceive physical forms of 
natural objects is scarcely surprising. 

/3 Prof. Friedrich Ratzel mentions the Frog, among many other animals worshipped 
as gf)ds and adopted as totems by the American Indians, as being met witli in 
countless typical representations, especially where Toltec civilization re.iched. Among 
the Egyptians I'tah. as creator of man, is a frog. 

30 



TEKTHAH. 

among manifested animals or insects, eating also food of flesh 
by subtle reasoning of their minds, and after for their stom- 
ach 's sake. 

So falling, those early sinners who came to Atlantis with a 
pure faith and knowledge of God, raised descendants who fell 
still farther into idolatry and wickedness, degraded superstition, 
and still more degraded practices, mingling with them a fero- 
cious and dauntless prowess in war and a luxuriance of living 
in later days that caused their name to be spoken of with 
respect and reverence and their power to be undisputed among 
the races who had been there beyond the legends of all time. 
Superstitious, ferocious, and of tremendous powers, Atlantis lay 
under the foot of the sons of Adam ; but the world instead of 
being improved, threatened to sink in a chaos of confusion and 
blood, and all by the desire of Tekthah, who wished to main- 
tain his high estate. 



3' 



CAP. IV. 



THE PALACE. 



The palace of Tekthah rose in its colossal grandeur from 
vast spreading areas of steps, on every landing of which 
a pair of Andro-sphinxes lay. Built of the red stone of Axat- 
lan, it was as a small city to itself, with its courts and 
galleries, colonnades, arches and statues and outlying pylon 
towers, housing within its painted halls many of the great 
officers of state with their servants, and ladies of high rank 
which were in the Tizin's train, the astronomers, astrologers and 
soothsayers, magicians and chemists and many which led Tek- 
thah's inclmations by evil cunning to the great detriment of the 
land. A structure of grand architecture and gloomy beauty, 
vast and massive and plain, it never failed to fill me with a. 
certain awe ; indeed a bewildering beauty lay in the spreading 
fall of the stairways guarded by those stony sentinels on their 
oblong, flat pedestals, that sat looking with impassive, inscrutable 
faces on space, and the pairs of colossi which guarded every 
doorway and were called the Guardians of the entrance; a 
sense of majesty and power that aspired to great things and 
could only satisfy the longing by being immense and grand and 
wondrous. In certain spaces were tall columns of stone of a 
carnal significance, towering obelisks of which the like were 
seen all over the land, each one graven with the symbols of 
genealogy. And each obelisk had a name. 

There were gardens surrounding, where feathery palms grew, 
and yellow sartreels spread their masses of sunny lovliness 
above the elegant ferns, blended with crimson roses and various 
flowers of all manners of colours and shapes and perfumes, shaded 
by great spreading forest trees; and down by the fountains 
the songs of birds rose from morning to night. Towers supplied 

32 



THE PALACE. 

these watery jets, the water being pumped up thence by wheels 
on which generations of slaves had grown up and died. 

On a pylon terrace that commanded a view of the ocean 
the Tzan Tekthah reclined on his couch, attended by one who 
bore an inhaling-pipe, and a fan-bearer who kept off the rays 
of the sun and the persecutions of flies. He was a man of 
great stature, and the white hair that framed his face well 
became the ruler of so great a nation. White also were his 
brows and beard, but his face was sensual and cruel, and al- 
though he looked a ruler, yet he appeared to have some traits 
that boded ill for the welfare of his charges. From his mouth 
and nostrils he blew volumes of fragrant smoke, inhaled from 
the pipe, in which lay a burning herb, which enjoyment to me 
appeared at first very curious, but was indulged in by all of 
the land. The early beauty of the sea and sky arrested his 
gaze, and I also looked wonderingly to where, within the reef, 
moved a large black bulk; fine-like arms beat the water and 
propelled it through the waves, and three gaily-coloured squares 
of cloth, bellying to the wind, accelerated the speed. I 
watched it with a lively interest, Tekthah with a listless curiosity ; 
it was one of his vessels, the three-masted warship, Tacoatlanta, 
bearing at the prow the enormous semblance of a human head, 
large enough to hold nine hundred warriors, ot, but never ventur- 
ing more than a mile from shore for fear it would get caught 
in the current of the great cataract that everyone believed fell 
over the edge of the world where the Sun rose and where the 
great sea-animals lived that they saw occasionally — monsters of 
the deep that reared like enormous serpents from the waves. 

The ship entered the harbour, and still Tekthah mused; now 

a It is evident that the art of shipbuilding had reached a considerable proficiency 
in the old days of Atlantis, and in after times we are informed by the best 
authorities that the Egyptians possessed ships nearly 3000 years B.C. By the 
cargo consisting of cattle, and the number of rowers employed, these would be of 
no inconsiderable size, and were not merely large boats or canoes, as, according 
to the Rev. Edmond Warre, the earliest of all presents us with the peculiar mast 
of two pieces, stepped apart, but joined at the top. He shows us that " the legend 
of Helen in Egypt, as well as the numerous references in the Odyssey, point, not 
only to the attraction that Egypt had for the maritime peoples, but also to long- 
established habits of navigation and the possession of an art of shipbuilding equal 

33 3 



ATLANTIS. 

scowling up at the temple, where the eunuch priests and their 
female co-ministers held service to the hermaphrodite Zul, and 
trying to distinguish some face at that distance, now again 
scanning the sea. He beUeved, like most of his people, in 
what Gorgia the magician said concerning the ebb and flow of 
the waters: that the gods, the makers of the great animals, 
who lived over there, drank it down and then threw it up again, 
and the thunders were the sound of their females in labour 
producing the monsters. 

At the Tzan's feet lay his favorite mistress, Sumar, and on 
the terrace below, that commanded every approach to the 
tower, was a company of the Imperial Guards. Their captain 
was Nezca, a tall prince of exalted beauty, who had as apart- 
ments the whole base of that tower, for Tekthah feared what 
he dared not express. For this also it was that he had caused 
an arm of the sea to flow round the walls of Zul, stopped at 
each outlet by rocks, that the ebbing tide might not drain it, 
and had built warships to navigate it if needed. 

And thus I perceived the penalty of earthly greatness, and 
pondered much within my mind if that, Tekthah being over- 
thrown, the land would be saved from evil. Even should T 
cause myself to be the Emperor ? It was a pleasing thought, but 
I knew that it might not be ; and indeed I had no knowledge 
of man or his ways, nor the ordering of such. 

A trumpet sounded. It was the hour for the morning meal, 
called the After-worship, and Tekthah arose to enter the Hall 
of Feasting, for he reclined on a couch which was on the dais 
at the top of the chamber, and none durst enter until such 
time as he was seated. 

to the construction of sea-going craft capable of carrying a large number of men 
and a considerable cargo besidts."' But in matters maritime the Phoenicians were 
unsurjiassed and the order kept aboard their fine ships, together with their skill of 
utilizing every inch of space, won ihe later admiration of the Greeks. 

It seems strange to learn that some southern Indians ha<l sailing-boats, while the 
Aztecs, who united with their predecessors the Toltecs, knew nothing of them, 
notwithstanding the fact that the latter must have used large crafts to bear them 
from the legendary Tlapallan to the shores of America. 

The vessels of Homer were capable of carrying over too men, but the Atlantean 
war-ship must have been much larger than any that we read of in ancient times. 

34 



THE PALACE. 

The walls of which splendid apartment were very lofty and 
of an oblong formation, enclosing a great space with their 
painted barriers panelled and frescoed in gaudy colourings 
representing the advent of their race and their wars. Four 
tall columns supporting the central ceiling, which was painted 
with scenes as upon the walls, oc But how barbarous were their 
colours when viewed separately, although imposing on the whole 1 
Bright vermilions clashed with ochres and crude greens in all 
of them : there were sanguinary representations of the chase, in 
which appeared Mastodons, /3 aurochs, and gigantic stags ; and 
vile pictures of amorous designing, hideous in their beastliness 
and grotesqueness, and abominable in their atrocious conceptions. 
Between these panels were long mirrors of gold polished so 
brightly as to reflect the minutest detail and lending a richer 
colouring by its own sunny tint. 

Attended by his guards the Tzan swept in with his mistress 
and took his seat. At the sound of a second trumpet the 
Tizin Azta entered with her guards and attendants, occupying 
a seat immediately below Tekthah, with her entering Shar-Jatal 
the Representative of the People; and then, at another trumpet- 
call, the couches were all filled with the households and suites, 
numbering three hundred males of various ages, from boys to 
old men, and ladies greater in number and of the same varia- 
tions of years. Behind and about them were innumerable 
attendants, especially around the Tzan, at the back of whom 

oe, The particular style of the architecture of this apartment is perhaps like Assyrian, 
as regards the oblong shape. The Assyrian roof was of thick layers of earth on 
strong beams, the pavement of sun-dried bricks, or baked bricks, or of alabaster 
slabs laid in bitumen and delicately carved. We find also carved alabaster dados, 
many of which show traces of having been decorated in colours, and above them 
baked bricks richly coloured and glazed. A vast amount of ornament is employed, 
and doors were used, a piece of furniture we do not often find mentioned here, 
save the great gates of the city and doors of the temple of Zul. 

In China we find also in palaces and temples coloured glazed tiles, or the bricks 
themselves were coloured and glazed. 

^ The range of the genus Mastodon in time was from the middle of the Miocene 
period to the end of the Pliocene in the Old World, when they became extinct ; 
but in America several species — especially the best-known, owing to the abundance 
of its remains, which have been variously called M. Ohioticus^ M. Ainericanus and 
M. Giganteus — survived quite to a late Pleistocene period. — Ency. Brit. 

35 



ATLANTIS. 

stood the Imperial Guards clad in armour, young nobles all, 
their breastplates of orichalcum fashioned after the emblem of 
the Sun, cothurns of the same metal, and gold-overlaid shields. 
For arms they bore long spears with heads of obsidian, and 
heavy swords of the same ; their gleaming helmets were crowned 
by the plumes of the ostrich, ix. those of the officers being dyed 
red with minium, and Nezca's being of cunningly wrought 
gold — a mass of beautiful filigree work. And behind each 
great lord stood his shield-bearer, his cup-bearer, and his pipe- 
bearer, and many others to be at his instant command ; and 
the ladies also had each her cup-bearer and pipe-bearer among 
the rest, and to every one there was a fan-bearer to brush 
away flies. 

Sumar lay at the feet of her mighty lord, and on her 
Rhadaman, the firstborn by a concubine, leader of warriors, 
whose name was known among all the tribes and among the 
barbarian hordes afar off, cast a long stare of such a character 
that, blushing, she averted her face. From her his glance 
travelled to the Tzan, but as soon as he found he was in danger 
of being observed he resumed his meal. 

The Tzantan Huitza had observed both expressions with a- 
frown, and I watched keenly, seated among the lower guests, 
using my perceptions and power to understand all I saw and 
gathering the meaning then and afterwards. I perceived that 
he and Rhadaman were both bent upon obtaining sovereign 
power, and that both as warriors were unequalled in the land, 
being also greatly beloved by the populace. Yet lately Huitza, 
ambitious and energetic, blotted out by strenuous works the 
remembrance of his brother's past deeds, and nought but the 
sire's power upheld above him the rival. 

For Huitza had altered the fashion of war, making his troops 
most formidable, and causing jealousy to the Tzan, and a great 
unrest, (he loving not to see one too powerful). 

Yet all my regards went forth to the Tizin Azta, and at that 
first mingling with human beings came my first intuition of 
my mission, my first trial, my first rebellion. 

X I read this as "ostrich", meaning a great bird with plumes; but it may be an 
earlier species. 

36 



THE PALACE. 

For of all that godless land Noah was the only just man, 
being also governor of the province of Tek-Ra, under Huitza, 
his lord. And it was shown to me that I should uphold Huitza 
and cause him to become the Tzan, whereby Noah, who was 
much entrusted by him, would come into great power. Yet 
being greatly entranced by the beauty of Azta, methought I 
might win her regards and do also as much good by aiding 
her to gain the sovereign power, knowing nought of women 
or why they were not as fitted to rule as men, and repressing 
the voice that told me that the more earthly mould should 
greatest excel upon Earth. 

In sad mood I gazed around, hesitant, not at all willing to 
abjure this woman and fulfil my mission unbiassed, but looking 
upon her until her beauty drowned my reason. 

O Azta, dear Love, how queenly wert thou, and how my soul 
regarded thee! Thou didst not know how I watched thee 
then, nor conceived the great love which I bore to thee. 

To me everything was wondrous and strange and impressive, 
nor can I tell the peculiar emotions I experienced on perceiving 
that which was eaten by these godlike forms to be flesh of 
other animals. It is as a dream — those early days of my 
mission to Earth, the gradual perception of the material gross- 
ness of its inhabitants and faint intuition of my end and object. 

For ever among the great ones of the land sat the mystics 
who opened up to their mincls the hidden things. So that the 
counsellors, judges, treasurers, privy officers and all rulers for- 
bore to interest themselves in affairs of Earth, being greatly 
captivated by strange arguments and visions of delightful things. 
And especially the queens lent willing ears to such revelations, 
fascinated by the magic of those evil ones and the things of 
marvel and awe which they revealed ; so that at last none of 
the people did aught but interest themselves in the most 
exhilarating things. 

The meal was over. The great joints of meat were carried 
away and the huge, clumsy vesssels, and all manner ot platters 
of slate, stone or more precious materials carefully lifted and 
taken to the kitchens by the slaves to be cleaned. Some of 
the privileged menials remained behind, their position entitling 

37 



ATLANTIS. 

them to the favours extended to the ladies, and they laughed 
and chattered in broken language to one another, returning 
sneer for sneer with the haughty queens whenever the latter 
deigned to notice them. Most of them were slim youths chosen 
for their beauty, some almost children, covered with a pro- 
fusion of ornaments ; with hair varying from huge frizzled 
chevelures to oily, coarse masses of curls, all of a black colour ; 
and in like manner their skins varying in shades from yellow 
to intensest black, and physiognomies of every grade and class. 

The Tzan's exodus was the signal for the dispersal, and with 
noise and laughter the crowd broke up, some to hunt, or play 
games of ball, others to try their fortune at casting dice, some 
to transact business of state and some to review the troops. 
Others went to the vast round building of the Circus that held 
a semicircle of seats overlooking an arena, where once a year 
games were held and mock battles took place. These went to 
practice for the approaching ceremony and view the combatants 
who were to take part in the display, for the purposes of laying 
wagers on who should win and who should not, and to see 
that the brute combatants were well cared for and savage. 

I saw Azta cast a glance at the Tzantan Huitza before sh^" 
retired to the gardens where she loved to sit and watch the fish 
in the fountains, and I wondered at its character and that the 
lord gave no sign of having perceived it. A shade of annoyance 
clouded the Tizin's face as a cloud coming over the sky — a 
black, furious, sullen look from which her great yellow eyes 
flared like lightning, while her opening lips disclosed the flaming 
rubies set in her teeth. She suffered her vivid gaze to fall on 
Sumar, who yet remained, and who, frightened at their strange 
beauty, stared with a terrified fascination, as a bird might stare 
on a serpent; while Azta, enjoying her power, let the long 
lashes fall softly over them and then averted her head. 

I believed her about to kill this one by her glance, for she 
could never bear that another should stand above herself; and, 
after, I found that even towards Tekthah, her lord, she nourished 
an impatient hauteur that the Tzan condescendingly humoured ; 
yet notwithstanding he was her lord such feeling would have 
been of terrible danger to him if circumstances had favoured the 

3« 



THE PALACE. 

passion for supremacy that caused it. But as concerned Sumar 
I found there was another motive for her feehng. 

She passed out into her garden, attended by the slaves who 
served her at meals. These, as most of the serfs of the city, 
were from the dark peoples of the south-east, having black eyes 
like antelopes and curly hair and great lips. Through the 
cartilage of the nostrils of each one was thrust a golden skewer, 
by which they were secured when they were punished for any 
offence, which many frequently were, being whipped with thongs ; 
and each had, cut on the breast and dyed, the emblem of the 
particular thing worshipped by his or her owner. Azta's divinity 
was a butterfly, and the golden emblem overshadowed her proud 
head, rivers of gold appearing to flow from it as the light moved 
over the thick silky coils of her hair, that was looped up on 
either side of her face and confined at the temples by a jewelled 
strap from which dangled golden plaques, each stamped with 
the emblem, and representing, I learned, the stars ; for Azta's 
head-dress of state supported the emblem of the moon. A 
second's hesitation, one swift desperate struggle with my con- 
science, and I had cast duty aside, preferring to follow this 
wondrous beauty and feast my eyes upon her lovliness to 
staying where intuition bade. 

Down by the fountains, whose fern-shaded lakes were alive 
with jewelled fish, was a swinging couch, and to this the Tizin 
went, and suffered herself to fall upon the soft cushions. She 
dismissed her retinue, keeping only old Na, a serving-woman, 
versed in simples and the making of most subtle perfumes — the 
envy of all the queens of Tekthah's court and an endless theme 
for aspiring gallants. 

Of a truth the more I watched this being the more did I love, 
and half methought to appear suddenly before her in a blaze 
of glory, being scarce able indeed to resist my love. And 
surely here was the scene for promoting such a passion; the 
blue depths above, the flecked shadows from the ferns and 
magnolias, the tinkle of the waterfall and the sonus of birds 
among the sartreel bushes; while afar lay entrancing vistas of 
dazzling surf-lined beaches with their woods and villages, and 
inland the white towns of Bab-Ala, Lasan, Dar, Bari and Ko. 

39 



ATLANTIS. 

The Tacoatlanta was moving from the harbour, visible through 
the trees, and suddenly Azta perceived the black bulk, that 
looked, with its human head, to be like a great swimming man 
progressing with a wash of foam at either side, that rolled astern 
and seethed in a long wake of white, and gazed curiously on it. 

Not long she looked, but turned her face to where rose the 
pylons and battlements of the palace, seen at intervals, about 
which flashed the armour of sentinels guarding the monarch who 
lay within. 

"See!" she cried to the old nurse — "This day have I lost 
one of the plates from off my forehead-strap." Yet I knew she 
only took this as an excuse to vent her temper, and not for 
sorrow at the loss, which was to be for a great token in after 
days. "Didst mark the Lady Sumar?" she continued, looking 
curiously under her lashes at the woman. 

"Yea," answered Na; "yet it would ill-become me to speak 
aught of so exalted an one ; but methought she did favour the 
Lord Mehir overmuch." This she said to soothe Azta, for she 
knew her regard for Huitza, and feared the wiles of Sumar. 

Then, with one of those impetuous motions I learned to love 
so passionately, Azta turned her lithe body over on the couch^ 
addressing old Na more than any other object in the landscape 
but because she could speak. Her countenance unrelieved by 
aught of colour save on the full lips, framed by waves and 
masses of living gold, took on, apart from its usual serene calm, 
a glowing vivacity, and her great eyes, yellow as the liquid 
amber and lurid as fire, flashed in their vivid beauty, her 
features expressing joyousness, contempt, savagery, hauteur, 
and a wild reckless menace. 

"Behold me!" she said; "am I not beautiful? who can 
equal me in all Atlantis ? At my feet are all the princes, whom 
I scorn, even Rhadaman the Superb — ha! //>, forsooth! There 
is but one other who is equal to me; who is it, thou old one?" 

" There is none. The only one who approaches thee is the 
Lord Huitza." 

Azta's eyes flashed at the name, and to me came an un- 
comfortable idea. 

"It is he, the Lord Huitza! Ay, equal to me, and excelling. 

40 



THE PALACE. 

He is a god and all men tremble before him. His face is as 
the Sun and — hast marked his hair, woman? But I have hid 
from him the love I bear him, preferring to wait until such 
time when I can make him to rise yet greater in power. Dost 
hear, old fool ? ' ' 

" Yea, mistress," answered Na meekly, for Azta's mien was 

haughty and dangerous as she uttered the words, that were untrue. 

Then her manner changed and she spoke almost in suppliance : 

"Thinkest thou he is a god to despise all of Earth?" 

" Belike he is, Lady ; who but thyself has so divine a presence? " 

The Empress passed her hand across her eyes as if she would 

awake from a vision. "It is enough," she said; "fan me, for 

I would sleep." 



41 



CAP. V. 



THE HALL OF FEASTING. 



So great became my love for Azta that I yearned mightily 
to embrace her, and did but await an opportunity to reveal 
myself. Forgot I for what I was here, or to study after what 
fashion I was to act in reforming the sons of Adam; all my 
thoughts went out to this daughter of Earth and her exceeding 
lovliness. 

Now Mah was the priest of the temple of the Moon, whom 
1 perceived to be of celestial mould, knowing all the astro- 
momers, astrologers and soothsayers, all such as reckoned ana- 
logously concerning man and practised sorcery. Over certain 
he had a great power, and Azta oft went thither to consult 
with him, pretending to worship the moon; but I perceived in" 
what manner she worshipped, and how she trusted to his 
knowledge concerning the means by which she might obtain 
the sovereign power. Also, as being the Tizin, she had power 
to enter any temple which she chose, being the High Priestess 
of the land, and I marvelled that she conferred not with Acoa : 
but Mah was more of the PLarth — and practical in its affairs. 

Alone with the priest, Azta spoke to him on matters other 
than of worship, calling him her old counsellor and bidding him 
speak if he had aught to say. "Zul awaits thee," she said, with 
a swift glance at him. He smiled, and I knew that evil reigned 
in his heart, yet of what fashion I knew not, but it was an unplea- 
sant look that he wore, and methought Azta seemed displeased as 
she gazed haughtily at the mystic insignia and the dark corridors. 

•'My daughter," he said, "haste will ruin all, and care must 
be taken in selecting our tools, or they will wound the hand 
that guides them. The Lord Shar-Jatal, whom Tekthah favours, 
is in the toils of the Lady Pocatepa, who will bid him administer 

42 



THE HAI.L OF FEASTING. 

a potion prepared by me to Tekthah. But thou must first take 
Rhadaman to be thy right hand wherewith to gain the throne; 
with him thou canst make terms, he being thy suppHant slave; 
and thou, being more powerful than he, canst so secure thyself 
that thou wilt reign alone and supreme. Thou understandest ? " 

"But of Huitza?" 

"Hal Ever Huitza ! I will charge myself also with him, or 
the Lord Rhadaman can plant his foot on him." 

"Peace, thou old slave!" cried Azta, furiously, her tall figure 
quivering with rage ; " Rhadaman shall never trample such as 
Huitza beneath his foot. Against such infamy is his own 
godlike person, all the peoples of Atlantis, and mc, my old 
father, me I Huitza must be absent from Zul when this comes 
about, that he may be shut out and we may come to terms 
with him. He and I are born of the Sun and I love him — as 
a brother," 

The old man's eyes flashed at the insult, but when Azta had 
ceased he was calm again. 

"The words of the Tizin are full of wisdom," he said coldly. 

Azta's manner changed. " Forgive my hastiness, my old 
one," she said in a sweet, gracious tone: "Ever was I impe- 
tuous, father, and my regard for this man is great, I am not 
as the gay wantons around me, who love all and none, and 
surely I may like one born as I was born." 

" 'Tis nought, daughter ; the young are ever impetuous. But 
I tell thee, it is for thyself to get Rhadaman into thy power. 
Remember 1" 

Azta bowed, somewhat icily, for she could scarce brook this 
manner of speech, and retired, going out to her slaves. I, 
who perceived many things, heard Mah whisper in his beard, 
"Thou fool! The Priests shall rule in Zul": and in like man- 
ner Azta murmured, " When the sword has struck, it shall be 
broken." Whereat I wondered. And in after days I forgot 
those words, for what reason I cannot tell. 

There was the evening meal in the palace, when the hunters 
returned with bear, ox, goat and venison, and at times brought 
in one of the small horses that were so difificult to catch, with 
short necks, and manes and tails like mats of vegetation : fierce 

43 



ATLANTIS. 

little brutes that bit with their big yellow teeth and flung 
themselves madly about, but whose flesh was very good to eat. 

A clear and musical trumpet-call summoned all to the 
banquet, lighted by torches after the sun had set, in order that 
its pleasures might be kept up far into the night, for these 
beings were unsubdued by the mystery of the darkness. Then 
the flaring lights cast lurid, waving shadows over the noisy 
throng, and consumed the winged moths with a horrid sound, 
causing Azta and her attendants to cry out with terror. They 
would catch up the tortured creatures, and, immersing them in 
wine, endeavour to ease their sufferings and keep them alive; 
but, although perhaps they succeeded in the former effort, they 
never did in the latter, which I perceived they took for an 
omen of something. 

And — O human nature, how vile thou art! and how canst 
thou be excused — yet who am I to say this? — On great occa- 
sions, slaves, secured to crosses, were set up in the open court- 
yard beyond, x and, being fed on fat for some previous time 
and smeared with grease for the occasion, were set on fire, 
the streaming lights doubly illuminating the feasting debauchees 
within, who roared with evil laughter at the shrieking, writhing,- 
living torches flinging the fire from their anguished bodies. 
Others again were set upon stakes which pierced their bowels, 
so that they wriggled in most fearful agony, yet their fellow- 
men did but smile at their pain, and instead of being distressed 
were very greatly amused thereby. 

The scene in the hall was wondrous of an evening, for the 
great frescoes took all manner of imaginings under the swaying 
lights, the gaudy colours rushing together in masses of tone; 
and, with the glitter of armour and the blending of dresses and 
mantles of white, yellow, imperial purple and red, forming an 
effect rivalling the kaleidoscope in colour, reflected and flashed 

« This punishment of crucifixion appears to be one of the earliest. In historical 
times it was, however, unknown to the Jews until introduced by the Romans, who 
themselves only inflicted its degradation upon slaves and the lowest malefactors. 
Hut persons were hanged on a tree as far back as the days of Joshua (VTII. 29), 
and I understand that hanging was a very early Egyptian penalty. 

Tlie jiunishment of liurning alive and the presence of women at feasts were 
essentially Babylonian customs. 

44 



THE HALL OF FEASTING. 

back dazzlingly by the long golden mirrors. Most of the ladies 
wore their hair looped up like Azta's, and thickly powdered 
with gold-dust and tiny gems, and wreathed with gay flowers, 
so that the effect was surpassing beautiful and gave added 
radiancy to the coloured scene, which was continued among the 
viands by rich fruits, flowers and leaves, and gold and silver 
vessels. 

And what a company was there ! Warriors and princes, 
gray-haired patriarchs and glittering chiefs in the various dresses 
of border tribes. Tzantans of Talascan with their profusion of 
heavy gold ornaments, and mighty warriors of Trocoatla in 
their great silver breastplates ; tall mystics who gazed with 
their dreadful eyes upon the throngs, full of dire knowledge 
of hidden things and covered with symbols, and many whose 
strange beauty bespoke a superhuman descent. Imposing head- 
dresses of metal, horn and feathers mingled in a splendour of 
warlike confusion among the gemmed tiaras of the ladies; and 
the roar of voices arose, loud and confident. 

There reclined the splendid Mehir, an uncle of the Tzan, 
next to Huitza ; Shar-Jatal with his sinister smile showing his 
teeth gemmed like a woman's; Zebra, Tzantan of the sea; Ju, 
and Eto-Masse his friend; Izta, Lord of Astra, the bosom 
friend of Shar-Jatal; the majestic Nezca, Lord of Axatlan, who 
was one of the best-favoured figures of the court, old Nahuasco, 
Adar, and the giant Amal, which last was so huge that in 
after-days his bracelet of bronze served as an Amazon's co- 
ronet, that would have caused him much shame. There was 
also Ham, the tall son of Noah, governor of the province of 
Tek-Ra, which former was kept by Tekthah secretly as an hos- 
tage, and because he feared his father, being under Huitza, 
Lord of Tek-Ra. Also was Ham excellent in architectural 
design, and had raised some of their grandest buildings. 

And among these the ladies shone fairest, — thou, my Azta, far 
more than all; and next Sada and the Lady Pocatepa, who 
was a priestess of Neptsis and knew much magic, wearing the 
insignia of the goddess to whom she administered in daring 
blasphemy, as not being a virgin she should not have ministered. 

Large circular bowls held wine, distributed among the revel- 

45 



THE HALL OF FEASTING. 

lers in huge horns, although some of the more intemperate 
among the feasters plunged their heads into the large vessels 
and swilled like the beasts, pledging their mistresses in shameful 
phrases. Among whole joints of meat and masses of cakes, 
fruits and vegetables, spices and strong scents made the air reek 
with their heavy perfumes. Slaves walked freely among the 
viands to pass them to their masters, who used knife and sword to 
hew the smoking joints, or with their spears lifted out this or 
that for themselves or their women, occasionally hurling a bone 
at some slinking shadow passing the entrances. Here 1 per- 
ceived the transient joys of Earth, the Individual feeling that 
excludes all else and can think of nought but its own present 
joy, heedless of the future and only regardful as to how to be 
the hero of the moment. 

To-night they seemed less noisy than usual. Tekthah, looking 
down like a white-maned lion on his harem and household, 
seemed to seek for a friendly face; Azta's thoughts were busy, 
and Rhadaman's and Huitza's brows were both bent with the 
same schemings. None had attended the evening ceremony at 
Zul — save of the greater citizens. Which, one of the nobles, 
a guest and boon companion of Rhadaman, said, was suflficient 
to express the sentiment of the whole of the sacred city, and 
they had the Spirits beaming on them from the torches. 
Nevertheless there were a few qualms regarding it. 

The feasting and heaviness pressed on the gay crowd ; they 
abandoned themselves to the voluptuousness of all around, and 
much foolishness and wantonness was wrought The musicians 
increased the uproar, and after the feasters had eaten and drunk 
their fill, which was a goodly amount, girls came in who danced 
and sang, jugglers displayed many wondrous feats, and the chief 
of the musicians told tales of strange mystery. This one was 
named Tairu, who related weird things of monstrous creations ; of 
a nation, living among the beasts, who had teeth like the great 
apes and ate their own offspring; long histories that caused 
Azta's eyes to glisten, of warUke women of the North and West, 
who fought in battle like men and killed all their male children, 
and whose husbands were captured in raids and afterwards 
killed also. Whereat were many sayings, silenced sneeringly by 

47 



ATLANTIS. 

Azta; and Tairu, continuing, rehearsed the amours of Neptsis,^ 
the female principle; of how, pregnant by Night, she brought 
forth the Earth and the hermaphrodite Zul and much evil. 

The land was full of these legends, and many others ; indeed, 
there was no end of them; and their hunters spoke of peoples 
spotted and striped, some having horns and tails, and some 
species living apart and driving away the others. Abnormal 
creations were the topic of every feast, and some even openly 
boasted misconduct that all indulged in. 

To Azta these weird tales had a great interest, and she 
often questioned old Na and, later, myself concerning them, her 
yellow eyes dilating with awe of the marvellous and half- 
doubtful of the truth of it all ; and to-night as she watched 
Tairu she bade him speak of the Amazon warriors, and listened 
attentively while drunken lords snored on their couches, and 
wanton women twined garlands in their hair and decorated them 
with flowers and feathers. 

In view of the drowsy state of the warriors, Gadema, Tek- 
thah's cupbearer, a youth whose white skin and fair proportions 
had raised him to the rank of favourite, murmured a compliment 
to Azta as he passed her intentionally, but she impatiently 
repulsed him, not wishing for conversation with any, but sitting 
silent until the feast ended, and such as cared, or were able, 
retired to their apartments. The moon arose and her pale light 
shone down on the city, where behind coloured walls and 
columns the citizens lay in wantonness and disorder working 
their damnation. Shone on those mighty masses of man's 
creation, silvering temple and palace and monument, lighting 
up the gardens and scintillating in showers of prinkling points 
on the waters that ever heaved so restlessly, and made the 
forests stand out like gray masses of lava. Lighted a tall dark 
figure that glided from the pylons and columns of the palace 
like a shadow, and lost itself among the trees with the silence 
and mystery of one. 



48 



CAP. VL 



THE GARDEN. 



I SHALL never forget thee, my Love, vanquisher of all those 
early scruples by thy might of beauty, yet how oft have I 
wished I had never beheld thee I And how often have I looked 
sadly back to the days before ever this passion had possessed 
me and I loved but Jehovah, loving Him with an enthusiastic 
fervour of adoration for the wonder and the beauty of life 
and health around. And full of my holiness and purity I yet 
strayed to love one of Earth, and my love was as the breath 
of a furnace that consumed me and would not let me go. 
Would I had been warned by suspicions, but I would admit 
none of them, pretending to believe that by indulging my pas- 
sion for this fair woman I should be possessed of that know- 
ledge of earth useful to the end of my mission. Judge me, 
merciful Creator, that I sinned but by inviting a power too 
strong to be overcome, and not for the lust of sin; nor judge 
me harshly, O Thou who sinnest not, that the spirit of Heaven 
in so fair a guise of Earth could cause me to embrace it. 

It was Azta who stole out from the palace in the moonlight, 
for I had cast my spirit over her that she should do this, and 
she had wrapped about her a fine purple robe. To her couch 
within the great arbour-forming vine by the fountains I drew her, 
and thither she went, casting herself upon the cushions, her 
full white bosom heaving under the sway of suppressed passions 
and bitter thoughts heightened by wine. 

O evening of my happiness 1 O night of bliss 1 Ever in my 
ears shall sound the far-away thunder of the surf borne upon 
the scented breeze, that ravished the soul with music, a 
slumbrous background to the ripple of the fountains among 
the water-lilies. And thou wert like the Queen of the night, 

49 4 



ATLANTIS. 

my fair Love, yet woe is me I stayed after thou hadst spoken 
those words. 

For she cried in a low, passionate voice : " O Huitza, where 
art thou now? why hast thou taken thy love from me, whom 
I deemed loved me well? What is this pale girl Sumar to me? 
Would now that I were a man and a warrior to fight by thy 
side! But who would be master, my Lord Huitza — ha! who 
would be master, thou haughty prince? Thou shalt bow to 
me, I swear it ! By Zul and the Holy Mother Neptsis, by all 
the fires of Heaven and the dark Hereafter I swear it! Why, 

why," she cried, shaking her hands and throwing herself 
back on the cushions, "are women as nought but playthings 
for the warriors? We, who solace their restless hours, who 
nurse them in sickness and bear sons and daughters to them? 
Why may we not be warriors too, companions in the field as 
well as in the home ? Yet will I rule supreme in Atlantis ! " 
she cried, leaping up^ — "but how — how? Were I thyself, proud 
chief, 'twould scarce be easy. O dreams, dreams of nigh im- 
possible glory 1 If thou should'st see me great, powerful and 
uncaring of thy love, then— ah Zul!" 

Now I, being full of desire of her, could scarce restrain myselC 
so entrancing was her glorious beauty and so subtle the curves 
of her body The fine spirit showed in every gesture she made, 
and stood revealed in her eyes, that were luminous in the moon- 
light. As a great moth I appeared before her and chained her 
attention with a flurry of wings, gazing with my eyes in hers 
and holding her by my power. 

With a little cry of fear she sank upon her couch, yet gazed 

1 continuously, with a new passionate desire in me to be wholly 
absorbed in this being. And thus I wooed her, until I stood 
forth in proper shape, being of stature superior to all she had 
seen and radiant with the love of God, as yet scarce 
misdirected. 

" Azta," I said, and then — alas, that aught but truth should have 
come from such lips — " I have come from afar to thee. As 
thou art the most mighty of the daughters of Man, so also 
am I of the sons of Heaven," 

How did thy large eyes look on me, most beautiful ! Vet 

50 



THE GARDEN. 

exclaiming, " Sir, how knowest thou aught of me if thou art 
not of our race?" 

" Nevertheless, I know thee and concerning thee," I answered, 
loving her yet the more, " and of how Tekthah took thee as 
Empress after that Atlace died, who lies in the pyramid near 
to the temple of Neptsis. It is known to Us that thou bearest 
no regard to him, and there are among Us those who look 
lovingly on thee and marvel at a beauty more like to Heaven 
than Earth. And I have come to speak with thee, Azta; is 
not thy lord now too old for such as thou art, who excellest 
in beauty?" 

"Thy speech is fair, courteous stranger," she said; "yet 
would I fain know whom thou art and whence thou comest." 

My eyes never wavered from hers ; a rosy flush suffused her 
features as she gazed, and I forgot all but herself and her beauty. 

" My name is Asia," I said, enraptured with her exceeding 
lovliness: "I am not of this Earth, being of the breath of 
Heaven. Yet, Azta, I love thee as never yet a mortal man 
could love." And, being full of passion towards her, bent my 
head, thinking to salute her with a kiss, but she repulsed me. 
At that I wondered, knowing nought of women nor of the 
strong passions that drive them hither and thither, nor of the 
pretended actions of them. 

"Salute me not," she said, yet scarce displeased; •*! love 
one with a true love; I am not as other women." 

Methought she was subdued by the mystery of the night 
and of such a visitation, being more fearful than pleased. 

"Thou fearest me," I said, very gently, seeking to soothe 
her mind and allay her uneasiness, yet not understanding her 
haughty spirit and high courage. 

"Forsooth, great sir," she cried, laughing, "I fear no man!" 

"Thy voice trembles, fair one," I said; "it is thy bold spirit 
that speaks, the heart is silent. See, my Azta, I kneel to thee, 
even as in days past the winged hosts knelt to thy fair mother 
Eve." And overcome by what madness I know not, I bent 
the knee to her, (that should never have been bowed but 
before the Throne of God,) and raising her hand to my lips, 
pressed it with them. 

51 



ATLANTIS. 

A certain light was around me, and I perceived how its 
beauty dazzled the fair woman, and how she regarded me as 
one of her divinities. She suffered the salute wonderingly, 
and the mystery of it all was beginning to cast a spell 
over her. 

"And is this the manner of such visitations?" she murmured, 
as though she thought she dreamed; for Huitza and Mehir, 
two of the most powerful of the princes, boasted celestial 
descent, which their splendid prowess and towering presence 
gave colour to; although the latter had a worldly appearance, 
having heavily black hair and a swarthy complexion. Fae, a 
mistress of Huitza, and Sada boasted such a visitation, and 
many others also. 

How fair was this woman on that night — the night of the 
beginning of my sorrow; for after then I can never forget her. 
Restfully she lay back on the cushions and watched me, smiling 
happily with half-opened lips that were so soft and full; and 
my whole soul was lost in contemplation of her utter lovliness 
as I held her hand and noted the perfect outHne of her face 
and the manner of how the ruby-studded teeth shone, and how 
the lashes drooped over her eyes, luminous with the light of 
deep fires in a crater; and I thought of the last chamber of 
the temple of Zul and the idols that were set round the lurid 
pit to withdraw worship from God. Yet but for an instant, and 
I dismissed the thought, and watched how those long lashes 
quivered and how quickly her bosom rose and fell where the 
drapery fell from it, exposing its creamy whiteness, the whiter 
for the powder of pearls and the chaplets of pink roses that 
were fastened in voluptuous masses beneath her breasts, rising 
from their scented, crumpled fretwork like ivory domes from 
seas of sunset-lighted clouds. Over her shoulders the billowy 
waves of hair fell, scented and wondrous, with their curious 
streams of gold that seemed to run like molten metal whenever 
she moved, freed from the broad forehead-strap with its pendant 
circular plates and the shadowing golden pin, and intertwined 
with yellow sartreel flowers. How perfect she was, and how 
tangible — O wondrous Creation ! 

Again and again I kissed her hand, she was so wonderful 

52 



THE GARDEN. 

in that moonlit night, and around her was a sublety that was 
not of Earth. 

"Thou art very beautiful! " I cried in rapture, — "too beautiful 
for Earth 1" and I gazed on her with a passion of love, such 
a warm feeling as I had never known before. It was enough 
to but look on such and drink deep draughts of the joy of 
beholding perfect beauty; and, O Father of Heaven and 
Keeper of the Souls, what is love created for but to revel in 
reciprocal bliss? 

"Azta," I said, "long have I watched thee from afar and 
longed for thee. Dost thou know what it is to love truly, 
sweetest one.''" 

"Perhaps," she said, softly, gazing into my eyes with a 
strange fixedness. 

I know now that because I did not use my comprehension 
for the end of my mission it was denied to me to understand 
certain things, and thus I ever tried to unite my soul with Azta's 
against all reason or possibility. Yet so it was, and thus I 
continued to woo her. 

"Thou art very young and beautiful," I said, "fairer, methinks 
than Eve. Woman was made for love, and thou — surely thou 
art the very lovliest of all." 

She watched me dreamily, as though she would consider 
after what manner I was, and as to my power, perchance. 
For there were many tales of evil Spirits which had carried 
away their mistresses, and others who had destroyed them 
while bearing them in mid-air, or had blasted them by too 
great power or in anger. And there were others which dwelt 
among them and wrought great works and not a little confusion, 
taking the fairest among the women to wife; which same were 
much considered of. 

" Ah, would that this would last," she said, " for we of 
Earth know but little peace, and woe to that one who falls in 
the struggle for power! For such an one has enemies, and 
friends who follow close do not disdain to leave the falling 
banner, and being unfatigued, fight onward thence and use 
their leader as a stepping-stone to their end." 

She spoke bitterly, rising up and gazing hard upon me. 

53 



ATLANTIS. # 

Perchance she saw the sorrow in my eyes, for she smiled a 
Httle and waved with her hand as though to put it from her. 

"Fear not," I said, "thou shalt not fall an thou wiliest, if I 
am with thee." Yet I said no more, wishing her to love me 
not only for an award so low. 

"And thou lovest me?" she said, musingly; "whilst others 
scorn; and I, Tizin of Atlantis!" 

She laughed a rippling, scornful laugh. "To look on thee 
is to forget," she said, more to herself than to me; and throwing 
herself back, gazed with halfclosed eyes and a certain smile, 
as she tried to read in my face the passion she could not 
wholly understand. 

"Fairest, the day will soon be here," I said, "and the night 
passes." 

"The night passes," she repeated slowly with deep emphasis. 

"Wilt thou come here again to-morrow night?" I asked, 
longingly. 

She nodded abstractedly. With a tumult of joy I kissed 
her hand again and again and she smiled Hke the Sphinxes 
on the steps — serene, inscrutable. 

" How I love thee ! " I cried — " never have I loved so before ! " 

" Never before? Hast never felt the power of love and sought 
for that of another?" she asked softly. 

" There speaks thy beauteous sex, fair Azta," I answered ; 
" ask thine heart the question." 

"Nay, Sir," she said, haughtily, "I came not to thee:" and 
with one finger on her lips she drew back, taking her hand 
from mine. 

I caught it again hastily, crying, "Sweetest, be not angry I 
Never have I loved before." 

A black cloud passed across the moon and hid it, so that 
all was dark. And in the night I heard the rush of a Seraph's 
wings as the sound of a tempest, and a great fear possessed me. 

My Love cried out, because of the light that encompassed 
me, and my shining front. "Art thou the Archangel Satan?" 
She asked in an awed voice. 

"Nay, nay! Oh name me not thus!" I implored her, bowing 
my head; yet recovering my madness as I felt her hand seek 

54 




HALLOWED MOMENTS THAT SO SWIFT SPEED TO THE GATES OF DOOM ! 



THE GARDEN. 

mine and marked her trembling. " Nay ; I am an Archangel, 
but of the hosts of Heaven, and my name I have revealed." 
And moving closely to her I took her in my arms. 

It became light again, although we perceived not its coming, 
for we did nought but gaze into the other's eyes. She sighed 
very softly, and still gazing upon me with that fixedness as 
though she sought for something, said as speaking to herself, 
"Methinks thou art my Ideal." I felt the warmth of her body 
and cried in ecstacy, "How beautiful thou art!" 

She lay still and offered no resistance to my embrace, 
and emboldened by her sweet acquiescence I drew her 
closer to me and pressed her to my bosom, feeling her 
heart beat faster and faster with a wild joy as she yielded 
to my love and lay peacefully in my arms with a happy 
smile on her lips. 

I looked straight into her eyes, and she returned the look. 
Ah, the electricity of souls I The leaping fire that springs from 
one to the other and wraps both in a mad whirl, melting two 
into one with its hot embrace and ever burning more furious 
with its own increasing passion. Brighter and brighter it grows, 
and faster and more fast rush the streams of frenzy, mingling 
and whirling and uniting in one great irresistible torrent of 
ecstatic Life that leaves the body and soars to the skies. Our 
lips met, and with the hot contact and with her arms about 
me she closed her eyes. 

O hallowed moments that so swift speed to the gates of 
Doom ! O wondrous fire of Paradise that lights the Earthly 
gloom! O Life that blasts the soul it leaves to dream upon 
its bliss — the soul that gives up everything for one sweet 
woman's kiss! O God, if all our Heaven's life might be that 
holy joy when souls in purest unity are free from Earth's alloy, 
give us that moment of delight and then let all things cease — 
one moment in the living Fire, and then eternal peace. 

Small wonder that the Angels need Eternity from which to 
make a day, yet — ah, this was sweeter than all the days of 
Eternity ! 



57 



ATI.ANTIS. 

A distant rolHnij^ uproar, swelling and increasing — the crashing, 
roaring echoes of a huge drum, shattering and reverberating 
and thundering, dispelled the Dream. 

Azta's face was ghastly white, but the smile on her lips was 
divine. She opened her eyes and laughed very softly, and I 
gazed into her glorious eyes with a depth of ineffable love, and 
smoothed her hair. Ah, those moments of damnable delight 1 



58 



CAP. VI I. 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 



Arriving with that first taste of the joy of Earthly love 
came the longing for more, and in the guise of a Magician I 
claimed admittance to the palace, nor dared one refused me. 
And mingling with the crowd I entered and seated myself, yet 
away from the dais, for I wished to observe as yet the full 
manners of man, and there were ever vacant couches there 
on account of absentees. 

Azta's late appearance was not noticed. It was usual, though 
not with her, truly, and there were many there who gazed 
curiously upon myself. I felt a new joy leap within me, yet 
terribly tainted with misgivings which caused me to ignore the 
feeling that certain power had been removed from me, where- 
by clearness of intellect was obscured and unreasoning rebellion 
felt. The knowledge that should have grasped in an open 
understanding all the economy of Earth was obscured, and I 
found myself thinking painfully of how to compass my desires, 
yet not finding any solution or perceiving certain results. 

The worshippers had returned from Zul, edified by the sacrifice 
of a savage chief recently captured on the frontier, whose death 
was presumed to be very acceptable to the devastating spirits 
that dwelt in the mountain ranges, as I learned. 

At times I caught a glimpse of the glory of Azta, and saw 
my Love as she reclined at the meal, with averted eyes and 
a happy smile on her face, attended by old Na and many more. 

Rhadaman, who reclined next below her, by reason, not of 
birth, but of favouritism and older standing of rank to Huitza, 
complained aloud to the Tzan of the aggressive prowess of the 
savage tribes, who from the south and west began to encroach 
back, destroying the crops and spoiling the farther hunting 

59 



ATLANTIS. 

grounds. And afterwards I knew he was prompted by the 
power of the Priest Mah to speak. 

I, intent upon his utterances, heard that which the roar of 
conversation denied to the others, and did mark how Azta 
gazed upon the prince and anon averted her eyes, hke a captain 
that steers the course of a ship ; he also covertly watching her, 
as he made damaging insinuations regarding Huitza, playing a 
deep game to obtain both herself and the throne and endeavouring 
to supplant his brother. Which one sat with Fae, his mistress, 
by whom also w^as Mehir. 

Azta looked furious, yet she cared not to show it; and I 
pondered deeply as to what was transpiring, as the prince 
declared that it was Fae who kept the Lord Huitza supplied 
with secret information for wrongful purposes, and held seditious 
meetings with others. Whereat I perceived Azta to bite 
her lip. 

A look of alarm passed across Tekthah's face. He shook 
his head furiously, like an enraged lion, and growled deeply 
in his beard. 

Rhadaman smiled diabolically and turned his large, full eyes 
down the hall. Like thunder the voice of the sire rang above 
the wanton laughter and lewd conversation, commanding the 
woman Fae to appear before him. 

Mehir, the Lord of Chalac, who was dallying with her and 
playfully seeking to make an appointment, looked up as the 
roaring tones fell on his ear, and then glanced hastily at Huitza. 
A flush spread over that prince's face and his dark eyes rolled 
round on his sire, while his mighty arm was outstretched towards 
the spear that lay behind him. 

The girl, startled, looked up like a frightened deer, wondering 
what had caused the summons and guiltily conscious of numberless 
wrong-doings. She arose and went tremblingly up to the 
dread monarch, making a deep obeisance to Azta and before 
him, her face ashen with terror. 

A tiny gleam of triumph showed on Azta's face, and her 
eyes flared with a yellow fire as she watched, like a lioness 
watching the quarry she is driving to her lord. 

1 wondered at her savage nature and at the deep play that 

60 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 

was being acted before my eyes, which disturbed my mind by 
its incomprehensibility, but that was unmistakable. 

A gradual hush fell over the riotous assembly, until there 
was a stillness of death. The women, observant of what was 
transpiring, and trembling for themselves, caught their breath 
and paled; the warriors gazed curiously, some with hands 
clutching a joint that they abstained from gnawing, some with 
poised wine-bowls and horns; the slaves trembled, even the 
favourites. All watched with flung-back hair to see what 
would come. 

This was a mistress of their favourite warrior ; and all knew 
his furious and impetuous nature ; that morning he had killed two 
slaves for quarrelling in his presence, hewing them in sunder 
from the crown down with his sword. I, too, wondered what 
would come of it, perceiving that as yet the prince made no 
demonstration, not understanding what was to come, and not 
wishing to cause open enmity between himself and the sire. 

The woman ascended to the dais and made another deep 
obeisance before it. Sumar trembled with white lips, noting 
every movement of the unfortunate one; the queen Axazaya 
buried her face in her robe and gave a shuddering cry of 
terror, and all the women paled. 

"And who art thou?" cried Tekthah to the guilty woman, 
in a thundrous voice, half rising and bending his ferocious eyes 
on her ; thus exerting himself more for the purpose of impressing 
the lesson he intended to teach on the assembly than for 
aweing this frail being; "who art thou to dare our wrath? To 
bestow thine harlot favours on our subjects? Is not thine own 
lord good enough for thee ? " 

A startled glance crossed Huitza's countenance, as, clutching 
his spear, he leaned forward on his elbow. The woman, in 
guilty terror, averted her eyes, and implored him with her gaze. 

Tekthah's countenance grew livid with rage as he perceived 
the rebellion in Huitza's heart, and the mute appeal of Fae 
to him. 

" A report has reached us that our secrets are betrayed," he 
hotly said; "that thou hast deserted thy chief lord the Tzan to 
favour a subject, and may lead him to act to his detriment. 

6i 



ATLANTIS. 

Before our son shall do this accursed thing to his gods and 
his sire we will remove all temptations from his path." 

A stifled cry burst from the woman's lips as she glared 
wildly at Tekthah and strove to articu'ate ; yet could I perceive 
nought of pity in that stern heart. Before him he saw, not a 
frail woman, but rebellious warriors and a son whom he feared 
and envied. A long, bright shaft flashed in his hand as he 
threw his arm up and backwards and then cast it forward, and 
next instant the luckless woman, pierced through by the great 
spear, fell with a gasping shriek and lay pinned to the steps 
of the dais, the shaft quivering upright above her blood- 
sprinkled bosom. 

Her poor hands convulsively beat the air ; a low muttering 
sound arose, and faint shrieks. Huitza leaped to his feet with 
a shout of rage, and his spear was poised threateningly towards 
the Tzan. There was a moment of thriUing stillness. A slave 
clutched his arm : the chief felled him to the earth, and then, 
swinging him up, dashed him down among the viands, glaring 
defiantly towards the dais. 

A low murmur followed the act, a challenge to the sire's 
wrath. Rhadaman uttered a surprised ejaculation intended to 
encourage the monarch to protest. 

The incensed chief turned on him furiously, correctly believing 
him to be the instigator of it all. 

" Thou spawn of a foreigner I " he roared ; for Rhadaman's 
mother, Maroa, was from among the slave peoples of the west : 
" There is thine enemy, Tekthah; there is the traitor!" 

" How ! " shouted the attacked warrior, grasping his spear and 
rising in wrath : " dost thou, rebellious one, dare to taunt me 
who led the armies of warriors before thy whipling arm could 
twirl a sling! By Zul, thou shalt not so dare again!" 

Tekthah made a sign to the Guards, and the ominous clang of 
arms sounded fearfully above the angry voice. Yet he Hked not to 
deal too severely with the princes, preferring to calm them himself. 

"Silence!" he commanded in a great shout, as the more 
timid began to seek the exits ; " may we not administer justice 
in our own palace? A pretty pass, by the gods, such rude 
brawling in our very presence!" 

62 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 

Huitza, with a deep and dreadful oath, seated himself, and 
Rhadaman, glaring round and encountering Azta's fiery glance, 
did likewise. Both remembered the fate of the last brace of 
quarrellers in the Imperial presence ; both marked the preparations 
for the onrush of the Guards, the seizure, the death of the 
reckless ones. Tekthah never permitted his supremacy to be 
questioned ; but, as becomes the wisdom of one who would 
rule, never set his power against anything that could have a 
chance of being successfully opposed, keeping down such as only 
a display of exhausting power could combat by hints that such 
was objected to, so that his authority was never obtrusively 
displayed for mere effect. 

All this withdrew attention from me, for each one was too 
engrossed to notice a stranger, and I had time to consider how 
to remain unobserved. 

Slaves carried out the dead woman, whose pouring blood, 
running from the spear-point that came through her back, made 
a long, horrid track. Mostly such of the Imperial household, 
dead, were lowered into the arms of one of those awful idols 
that ever looked upon the majesty of the crater of Zul, and 
were consumed so by the fires; the ashes being placed in the 
temple whose Divinity they worshipped ; all but the heart, 
which, before cremation, was thrown to the vultures. 

But the slave that Huitza had cast amid the viands, lay there 
with his back broken on a great wine-bowl that was smashed 
beneath him, from which the red flood ran in rivers in all 
directions. 

I watched the chief and saw that his fierce eyes were blazing 
with wrath, and he moved his fingers as one who thinks deeply. 
All feared a momentary outburst, as the broken slave, who yet 
lived, moaned shudderingly and writhed occasionally. I mar- 
velled that man might so shed man's blood, and wondered at 
the long whiles that must ensue before any order could be 
brought to man and his violence, in the ordering of Earthly 
affairs. There was that just man, Noah, governor of Tek-Ra, 
whom I knew beforetimes was beloved of God and of Us; 
but what was one among so many? and what use therefore to 
aid his power? 

63 



ATLANTIS. 

I could perceive the electricity of defiance and aroused devilry 
in the air. Every man's weapon lay ready to his hand, and 
none might know what would happen next. The giant Mehir 
wore a truculent air, and even ventured to stare defiantly at 
Rhadaman ; but the meal passed with no further interruption, 
and sullenly the throng passed forth, steeped in reverie, and 
moving with steady, defiant steps. 

The Tizin looked at Huitza as though she longed to speak 
to him, yet the desire manifested itself no farther than the eager 
forward leaning of her gracious body. 

Rhadaman remained behind, and a message bade the warrior 
Shar-Jatal remain also. Which last was, I have said, the Repre- 
sentative of the People at the Court, a post held for seven 
years, and now with this one being perpetual by reason of 
exceeding popularity. For, being also beloved of Tekthah, who 
wished for no irksome person to dispute aught, he advised such 
things for the people as satisfied them and pleased the Emperor, 
and also himself, for he loved to be at Court. 

Tekthah waved his hand against the Tizin, who questioned 
him with her eyes as to whether she also might remain, and. 
retired with the Tzantans to the Council-Chamber. I debated 
yet again in my mind as to whether I would present myself 
thither, yet would I not leave my Love, so mad was I, For, 
superb in my powers, I deemed that I could easily combat 
aught of hearth, and forgot that my mission was diplomatic and 
that my Creator Himself could not force the ways of Man. 

Thus I followed in the train of Azta, as she went in her 
coach, carried by slaves, to the temple of the Moon. 

Eight tall slaves bore the golden carriage, and her body-guard 
of twenty warriors surrounded it, whose captain was Nahuasco. 
These men wore for head-dress the skin-covered skulls of bison, 
whose great horns gave them an imposing appearance, breast- 
plates of orichalcum, heavy shields and cothurns of leather 
with metal ornaments; and were armed with spears and swords 
of obsidian. 

h>om the hill of Zul the city lay on a downward slope in 
all its mighty grandeur, the tree-shaded streets running in all 
directions among the clustering houses. Without the walls and 

64 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 

down by the Waterway were the round-topped huts of the 
fishermen, among which were continual conflagrations, who 
crowded the beach and harbour with their little boats and 
worshipped the Fish-god in the harbour. This was a monstrous 
image, of which half was in the likeness of a man and half of 
a fish, and in whose frightful lineaments the artist had endeav- 
oured to express the fear of the mysterious waves. One hand 
held a model of the Tacoatlanta, and its great goggle eyes, 
set on stems, were like those of a crab, the reeking odour of 
fish rising from it with an overpowering stench from the nu- 
merous rotting oblations on an altar. 

Closely within the walls was the great Market-place, where 
savage hunters, leading in leashes large spotted and striped 
felines and huge dogs, and occasionally exhibiting monsters 
that they had captured and exacted a toll to view, mingled 
with the vendors of fruits and rare flowers, water-sellers who 
brought water from the reservoirs, that were situated on the 
hill in order that their contents might flow down all over the 
city, and were filled from the river without the walls, being 
pumped up by slaves on the great wheels and conveyed across 
the sea-moat in an aqueduct. There were many auctioneers 
of wine also, for the grape was abundant in the land, and 
was much cultivated. 

In the centre of the Market-place was the sarcophagus of 
Maroa, mother of Rhadaman ; which building was of the shape 
of a pyramid, upon whose top lay coiled the semblance of a 
serpent overlooking all the lower places : around the open 
spaces of the square were set up images of gods, among 
which the cow, cat, serpent and the hideous and obscene god 
of Flies were the most prominent, a priest of the temple re- 
presented by each standing near to receive offerings. All over 
the land were these temples, and, in places, colossal statues 
hewn from the living rock in well-chosen situations that added 
to their silent majesty, startled the beholder. The larger tem- 
ples disdained such patronage, their munitions being more than 
sufficient. 

Also there were magicians, which held audiences spell-bound 
by marvels of awe; whom priests and priestesses of various 

65 5 



ATLANTIS. 




ALL OVER THE LAND WERE THESE TEMPLES, AND, IN PLACES, COLOSSAL 
STATUES HEWN FROM JHE LIVING ROCK. 



Orders from the Museum of which the name signified the Secret 
of God, where they were trained and instructed by the graven 
tablets and oral teaching in dark mysteries of fire and the 
cloven flame, x watched intently to learn what they might of 
the arts exhibited to be used for their own ends. There were 
those who prophesied of things to come, eating the leaves and 
roots of plants to increase their perceptions, /3 and dentists and 
such as sold medicinal plants and wondrous nostrums were 
always surrounded by thronging crowds, who hoped to find in 
their remedies some relief for disorders and pain, or increase 
of beauty to stimulate their vanity. Poor human creatures ! 



X This undoubtedly refers to electricity. I understand that the natural electric 
flame is cloven in shape. See Acts II. 3. 

^ The berry of the laurel is said to greatly stimulate sleep-walking and prevision. 

66 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 

My heart bled for sorrow at some of the things I perceived, 
the anguish and tears and fear. 

Yet so much the more my soul became filled with the mys- 
tery of Earth and the wonder of the mighty city. Rising beyond 
the Market-place was the Circus, whose annual fetes supplied 
an equal number of imposing sacrifices to the near temple of 
Neptsis; for while Zul engaged himself in the arduous care and 
tutelage of the soul, the holy mother dedicated herself to the 
welfare and " amusement of the body on Earth ; and the rem- 
nant of the combatants and candidates of foreign nations cap- 
tured and compelled to contribute to their masters' amusement 
were offered up to her in gratitude. 

Around the Market-place was the Bazaar, where all manufac- 
tures were carried on, and where crowds, dressed in the uni- 
versal yellow, IX. bowed low before our procession, gazing very 
curiously upon me, for my countenance was awful and my 
stature superior to all others. And lying by one of the aqueducts 
a woman held forth an infant towards me, beseeching that I 
would heal it of a curved back; and gazing thereon, so great 
a pity lay in my heart to see the misfortune of the little mite 
that I stretched forth my hands over it and cried for mercy 
on this one, sinless but by the sin of others, and it was healed 
because of my sorrow. And the guards swept back the crowd 
by reason of pressure on our march. 

The houses, some of two storeys high, but most only one 
from the ground, built of blocks of stone and not a few of 
brick cemented with bitumen, /3 were painted in many wondrous 
colours, and many had square columns in the front, leaning in- 
ward from their bases, y and some sculptured with skill. On 
either side of every doorway were the two images called the 
Guardians of the entrance, and there was a goodly space 

u. This colour, as highly esteemed in China, was limited there to the privileged 
use of the Emperor. In all structures belonging to the throne the colour was 
yellow, it being a capital offence for any other person to use it. 

/3 This form is found in the buildings of Assyria. 

y This follows the pleasing pyramidal idea, and was a form of portal used 
among the Incas. But we learn that the Peruvian Aymaras, whose monuments 
show a civilization more advanced than Palenque, have them perpendicular. 

67 



ATLANTIS. 

around every house because of the fear of flames spreading 
when a roof caught fire. 

Here, to the factories of the merchants were brought immense 
quantities of gold from Talascan, where it was greatly abundant, 
and silver from the mines of Trocoatla to be manufactured into 
fancy things in the shops, and beaten into coverings for war 
and made into large vessels in the armoury where shields, helmets, 
swords, spears, bows and arrows, slings and cuirasses were made. 

How greatly the children of Earth excelled in comforts for 
their short existence ! There were manufacturers of musical 
instruments and woven goods, paints and dyes, — particularly 
yellow and the royal purple which was only used in the garments 
of the court, — knives and spear-heads of obsidian and metal, 
ornaments in brilliant pebbles, onyx, jasper and orichalcum; 
leather war-trappings, breast- and back-plates, shields and cothurns, 
the former of which were also formed from shells of turtle and 
tortoise. There were factories for breads of wheat and maize 
and bark, torches and other combustibles, open shops of butchers 
and makers of sweetmeats and preparers of the smoking-herbs, 
large factories of pottery and of coach-builders, carpenters, worker^ 
in stone and images, and cabinet-makers ; shaded stalls where dairy 
produce was sold, brought in from farms without the walls, where 
large flocks and herds roamed and fattened on the fine herbage, 
and where all kinds of fruits, vegetables, meats and drinks were 
exchanged for other commodities. And indeed, everything was 
obtained by barter, save all things for the Emperor and lords, 
which were given to them in proportions. There were the 
offices of marble-merchants, stone-masons, builders and timber- 
merchants, and beautiful open stalls where furriers and mantle- 
makers exhibited their goods ; wine-merchants, drinking-palaces 
and glittering emporiums of gems and precious stones, feathers 
and cosmetics, gold-dust and pearl-dust and the tiny gems for 
the hair 

Everything that man could wish could be obtained there, and 
from morning until night there was one long roar of crowds 
and voices, buying, selling, crying their goods or auctioneering; 
and verily there is a pleasure in not being able to subsist 
without such, for the joy of obtaining that which is required. 

68 



THE MARKET-PLACE. 

On the roofs sat the great carrion-birds, who acted as 
scavengers in the city together with troops of dogs; and in an 
angle by a pyramid stood a fearfully-maimed man, a hunter, 
who told, for the alms of hearers, stories of mastodons, whose 
giant tusks were at times exhibited in the market; describing 
the vast bulks and earth-shaking terror of them, and reciting 
hunts and hardships endured. 

Yet larger and more wondrous than mastodons had I seen 
in the long, dark ages before man came on earth, terrible forms 
of land and flood that caused wonder among Us. 

The Bazaar extended to the fortifications, on whose top rows 
effigies of gods, most of atrocious conception, were placed 
to bid defiance to all but the lords of the land, and methinks 
frightened even them. Within the walls were the great ports 
whose valves of stone and bronze turned within pivots of diorite 
what times the greased drawbridges were thrown across the 
moat, their tall pylons rising above the walls and crowned with 
figures of serpents, which were also the emblem of Zul. x The 
military guards, who were ever kept along the wall, slept, played 
games of chance and held nightly debaucheries ; and this part 
of the city was full of dreadful women who laughed insanely 
and tossed their dishevelled hair, dancing and shrieking. 

One of these unhappy beings flung herself down before Azta's 
cortege, imploring an audience of the Tizin, but a guard roughly 
spurned her, and on her wild persistence ran her through with 
his spear and cast her aside. And at this I was very sad, yet 
methought to prevent such I must ever forbid it before it was 
dreamed of, for mankind appeared to slay without thought or 
hindrance. 

Yet Azta frowned, and beckoned her fan-bearers to shut out 
the blaze of the sun and the insolence of the people who stared 
upon her. 

a It may be interesting to note here tliat the fortifications of ancient Egypt 
appear to bear a strong resemblance to mediaeval works, the ramparts of the walls 
and towers havine battlements. We find this also in Hindoo architecture. 



69 



CAP. VIII. 



THE MARCH OF IIUITZA. 



AzTA and I alone entered within the mighty shadows of the 
pylon of the great Temple of the Moon. She wished me to 
accompany her, believing that in my power I could aid her; 
and of a truth I wished nothing better. 

New, strange feelings were beginning to make themselves felt 
within me, and the oppression of Interiors lay heavy on my 
thoughts, whose mystic Genius was greatly worshipped in Zul 
with awe and obscenity. The heaviness and wonder of inward 
places was very peculiar, and all souls recognized their spell. 
The dark wombs of unknown things yet. uncreated, hollow places 
where one was hidden from another, vaults and caverns wherein, 
dwelt evil creatures and such as should not be, nor cared to 
look upon expanse. 

My soul was uneasy, I say. Problems assailed me, and new 
anxieties, and the wish to feel again at perfect ease, yet intang- 
ible and unexplainable ; and I, which had dwelt ever in Space 
where the glories of immensity swept in waves of luminous 
beauty to horizons beyond conception, felt the chains of Earth 
press upon me and in a measure bind me. 

The priest Mah knew of what fashion I was, but concerned 
himself not. He bowed low before Azta, yet with a certain 
mockery in it, which stirred her haughty spirit. Within the 
.shadow of his grim walls he stalked like that evil Genius I 
have named, and methought he was in truth a Spirit of 
darkness. 

The Tizin returned his salute coldly. " Zul still awaits thee," 
she said tauntingly. 

"Zul still awaits," he replied. Ikit while Azta meant the 
great Temple, Mah meant the city and Atlantis, 

70 



THE MARCH OF HUITZA. 

"Now give heed unto me, my old father, for it is of a great 
matter I would speak," said Azta; and to him she told all the 
affairs of the morning, what had happened at the after-worship. 

With thoughtful eyes he Hstened, and for long after her words 
had ceased there was silence. 

"All is well," he said at length. "The power leans to thee, 
Azta; and it is but for thee now to be resolved." 

"But Huitza? What of Huitza?" 

A shade of fury crossed Mah's countenance. 

" Fear not for thy lover ! " he said, words that caused the 
fire to leap from Azta's stormy eyes. " He is safe. Even now, 
with his troops, he leaves the city. Rhadaman is thy slave 
and Shar-Jatal thy tool. For his advancement by Rhadaman 
he will destroy his master and thou shalt reign with thy 
propitious lord whom thy tool will remove in season, leaving 
thee Tizin of Atlantis in very truth." 

And thus I heard. For Mah, deeming me of the fallen Ones, 
scrupled not to voice his plans with an admirable ruffianism 
that caused me to stare. Alone, for the most part, in the great 
Temple, surrounded by the mystic shadows of the hierophantic 
walls and the dark vaults of unknown sin and corruption, he 
lived a life more of the spirit, yet dark and terrible, and as 
yet I knew not how the throne of the land could please him. 
In a thronging maze of new understandings and wonderings I 
stood, forgetting my high mission in the interest of weighing 
why this was and why that, and possessed of a great passion 
for the lovely woman before me, who should work my ruin. 

"Hearest thou these things?" she asked of me. 

^'Yea, I hear," I answered; loving her that she did appeal 
to my soul to commune with hers, and unheeding the sharp 
command in her voice. 

She looked upon me very thoughtfully, and the dreadful 
priest watched us both. I was minded to chide him, yet me- 
thought not yet. He knew more of the ways of Earth than I, 
and the time was not ripe for interference; neither did I know 
by what reason to chide, save of evil of design. 

"Dost approve the plan?" he asked of Azta. 

" Yea," she answered, somewhat abstractedly. 

71 



ATLANTIS. 

"Art thou ready?" he asked, striking with his staff on the 
ground. "Behold thine handmaid, the Lady Pocatepa!" 

A symbol on the dark wall sparkled with light and life, and 
what was a picture stood forth in carnal form, one of the dark- 
eyed queens of Tekthah's household, and priestess of Neptsis. 

Azta frowned, and her sullen glance fell on the priest. 
"Thine arts are deep," she said, in a slow, menacing voice, 
"yet forget not mine." 



^-^1 




HUITZA'S TROOPS WERE COMING. 



"Nay, great Lady, 'twas but for thy convenience that this 
was done," he said deprecatingly. 

Yet she still frowned, and looking on the woman, addressed 
her with scant courtesy: 

"Soh! Hast heard of what we conversed?" 

"Nay, O Queen." 

Mah looked disturbed, yet I perceived he cared not to interfere 
with Azta's humour. But I liked not the look in Pocatepa's eyes. 

" 'Tis well. Return where thou camest until such time as I 
shall send for thee," commanded Azta. 

She stretched forth her hand. The figure of the woman faded, 

72 



THE MARCH OF HUITZA. 

and vanished, and from the floor where she had stood rose a 
great moth that sped swiftly into the shadows. 

"Peace, my old father," she said to the priest. "Thou 
seest she is in truth my handmaiden, even as thou didst say. 
I go to consider this thing.' 

We went, and as we traversed the streets there was a sudden 
halt and a dispersion of the yellow robed crowds, Huitza's 
troops were coming through the Bazaar to the fortifications, and 
the Tzantan himself marched at their head. 

Over his towering stature the golden vulture-wings rose from 
his helmet, for as a son of Tekthah he wore the emblem to 
signify that he might soar near the glory of Zul and still yet 
not attain to it, the people of Earth delighting in such figures. 

The Prince's expression was stern and terrible, and his great 
red-brown beard fell over his breastplate in waves, nearly 
hiding it. 

At sight of this popular chief the enthusiasm of the people 
manifested itself in shouts of applause and wavings of spears, 
mantles and bare hands. 

"Huitza! Huitzal" they roared; "it is the god! Victory! 
Huitzal Zul! Zul!" 

Azta's cortege gave way with the rest, her guards sullenly 
making way for the advance of the on-coming legions and 
roughly pushing back the citizens. The Chief came, followed 
closely by his warriors : the sandals thudded in the dust and 
nearly obstructed all sight of the marching thousands, among 
which I perceived the vermilion plumes that topped the helmets 
of some ofificers of the Imperial Body-guard. 

The legion marched with a long, swinging trot ; arms clashed 
and clanged and spear-points flashed above the thick dust, as 
first the troops of spearmen, then of slingers, passed rapidly. 
The archers, a formidable body of men, belonged all to Huitza's 
troops, and they passed by, led by Mico, last of all; and the 
clouds of dust, rolling behind them, began to settle down. 

People stared and shouted, believing there was going to be 
a grand attack made on the savages and a consequent supply 
of victims ; but I wondered for the reason of that march. 

Back we went, through the Bazaar with its thronging crowds. 

73 



ATLANTIS. 

now eagerly discussing the passage of the troops and the pro- 
spects of captives and women But I pondered how that, if 
Azta became ruler of the land, I might fulfil my mission through 
her; and was pleased by the thought that excused the love of 
this woman to my soul. 

The Tzan was disturbed in mind and bade Shar-Jatal attend 
him by his favourite seat on the colonnade, to play chess with 
him. Azta had left me, and on the two men I centered my 
attention to learn what I might. 

Tekthah's ferocious eyes, shaded by the fans of the attendants, 
gazed steadily over the landscape, resting long on the great 
temple, while beneath his idle fingers the pieces lay untouched. 
The courtier-like myrmidon sat silent, watching hke a cat; and 
1 knew that his great hooked nose bespoke a strong will to 
back his wickedness. Swinging from a massive armlet was 
the emblem of a certain beetle, that was Pocatepa's divinity, 
and I bethought me of the evil ways of that twain, and wondered 
why every man and woman appeared to choose another's mate ; 
for Pocatepa was wife to the Tzantan Ju, notwithstanding that, 
being a prieste.ss of Neptsis, it was wrongful that she should, 
be aught but a virgin, yet being upheld by Mah. 

The Tzan began to discuss the exodus of Huitza, already 
known, and which he was powerless to prevent, for with him 
had gone most of the army. 

At which Shar-Jatal considered deeply, and afar off I perceived 
Nezca ; nor could I ever behold him unmoved, for I knew him 
to be one of Us. 

The Representative of the People perceived a crisis. He 
himself might not seize the throne at once, being restrained 
by the priest Mah ; but if Azta became ruler the voice of the 
nation would aid him to supplant her. 

" Rhadaman is with us," he said, but Tektiiah's furious gesture 
stopped him. 

" Rhadaman is among his women," he said, with a sneer, 
and conveying also one to Shar-Jatal, whom he despised because 
of his effeminacy, beginning to fear treachery which could scarce 
be defined; "he has given up the slaying for the production 
of warriors." 

74 



THE MARCH OF HUITZA. 

Shar-Jatal bowed. He advised the chief power of all being 
given to himself, as being the most competent person to oversee 
everything, and hinted in no hidden phrase his popularity. 
His friends were strong in the land ; one of them, Azco, being 
Governor of his province of Trocoatla, whence came much 
silver, and whose populous cities of Lote, Karbandu, Katalaria, 
Bar-Asan, Muzran, and Azod contained many mighty men, great 
warriors and skilled in war. Also that Azco, notwithstanding 
that he was a son of Sumar, was more friendly to himself. 

In silence I watched the game of those two mortals. Tekthah's 
face betrayed nought, but in his eyes I read as in a book, 
hatred, outraged pride, sudden perception of friendlessness and 
deadly peril, and fear. Ay, fear. That great, strong heart that 
had marched to the throne of Atlantis through tears and blood 
saw itself alone and deserted. Jehovah forgotten, the lazily- 
accepted dreams of Zul too vague and unsatisfactory now that 
they had to be faced, and all around the hungry eyes of men 
and women who coveted his place. He beckoned to his 
pipe-bearer to approach. 

" It is a weighty matter of which thou speakest," he said 
slowly, gazing on his courtier as though he would crush him 
by the vigour of his glance. " Go now. I will tell thee soon." 



75 



CAP. IX. 



AZTA. 



There was no news heard concerning Huitza. The Chief 
of the Navy — which was that Tzantan Ju, the husband of Poca- 
tepa — cruising in the Tacoatlanta, had seen the hghts of many 
fires among the hills, and Tekthah had secretly sent messen- 
gers to treat with the recalcitrant. These had not returned, 
and none knew for certain if it were Huitza's forces. 

A careful watch was kept over Ham, the son of Noah, to 
hold in check Tek-Ra, but Huitza went not thither, and this 
was a certain relief to Tekthah, for there still stood at Chuza, 
which was the chiefest of the cities there, the great pallo that 
was built there first, which of itself was impregnable even should" 
the stout walls of the city fall ; and the sallies of such troops 
as Huitza's from such a position would render an entrenchment 
around impossible. All the cities of Tek-Ra were threatened 
with annihilation if they received the rebel. 

From there and the distant city of Talascan came rumours that 
large nomadic tribes of their own race which bore for insignia 
the symbols of the Owl, Unicorn, and Dragon, the fish-gods of 
Astra, and the herdsmen of Alorus, Emok, Het and Assa, who 
were very truculent men and ever ready for war, sprung from 
Avan, daughter of Adam, had gone to join him, and people 
wondered what might come of it all. And continually Shar- 
Jatal pressed the fzan for his consent to his scheme, but Tek- 
thah was apathetic. 

Azta, likewise remained passive. Yet she was restless and 
imperious, and forbore to converse with me, nor visited the 
temple of the Moon. And in piteous mood I found her in 
her garden, conversing with herself aloud, and sighing often 
with the name of Huitza upon her lips. 

76 



AZTA. 

A strong feeling entered into me, a protest against her love 
for this man that I had never felt before ; and strong impulses 
were upon me as I watched her. Ah, how lovely she was as she 
looked about with her large yellow eyes in a deep thought, and 
the molten gold ran in streams in her hair as her white fingers 
ran through it. Ah, God, pardon for the earthly love that 
fired my melting soul as I gazed upon her! There I saw a 
Spirit clad in flesh of far more subtle mould than that of man, 
and more lovely than any other woman; for at times one stands 
preeminently above the rest. Yet still in my love was a great 
fear and a knowledge that it was not right. 

With heart on fire I watched her, yet sternly, for I liked not 
the mention of Huitza's name. And suddenly looking up, she 
beheld me, and dropped her eyes before my glance. 

"And has my Love forgotten?" I asked. 

" I have not forgotten," she said softly, in a very sad mood 
for her, the red blood rushing to her face; "how may one 
forget these things? But perchance they of Earth love better 
their own kind." 

"What can woman ask more than love?" I demanded, half- 
amazed. " On woman did Heaven pour its choicest gifts of love, 
and for love would she do anything, even sin to the peril of 
her soul, to share a loved one's fate. And for no reward, 
perchance : whilst I offer — nay, give thee, whether thou accept- 
est it or leavest it to die — a love greater than thou couldst 
dream of? Dost hear me, Azta?" 

"I hear, my lord: yet can love be forced?" 

" Forced ! " I cried, in tortured amaze, for verily here was a 
barrier I could not understand. " Does not thy soul leap forth 
to mine which loves it? Did not that bright flame spring in 
full quivering beauty when first we met, when thou didst lie in 
my arms and vow thou hadst never loved as then? Dost thou 
forget, O Azta? Dost thou forget?" 

She moved up her round, fair shoulders, while beneath her 
fingers the vine-tendrils fell in broken fragments. 

A sudden fear overcame me, a feeling of horror and despair. 

"O Azta!" I cried, "thou dost not know what love is!" 

She looked up fearfully, her lips parted, and I saw her shrink 

77 



ATLANTIS. 

before my gaze. The light went from her eyes, and left them 
dark and sombre. 

" Oh, speak not in such a voice," she faltered. " How can I 
stand before the majesty of Heaven ? Wilt thou blast me in 
thy wrath ? Who am I that thou shouldst love me, who loves 
another? Asia, thou art not of the fallen ones, thy mission on 
Earth is not the comfort of women. Leave me, oh leave me I 
for behold, I die, and thou wilt live forever." 

For a while I stood regarding her. Why did I not go? 

In a passion I cast myself before her. " Love me, oh love 
me ! " I cried in agony. 

From the blue sky rolled a burst of thunder, and from me fell a 
shadow upon the earth ; yet never before had I cast a shade. 
And gazing thereon I received a shock whereby it appeared as 
if a voice from God had spoken to an inharmonious sensation 
within me. 

And then a wild rebellion entered my soul, and throwing 
my arms over the couch, I bowed my head upon them 
and wept. 

Azta uttered a cry of distress and astonishment and laid her' 
hand on my head. 

"Poor Angel!" she said: "can such suffer?" 

I caught her in my arms. "Yea!" I cried passionately, 
"and suffer more than mortals. The finer the soul, the more 
capable of feeling, deep and terrible. Not mere emotion, for 
that is but the spasmodic index to what may be hidden far 
beneath, and the coarsest souls may be stirred by fleeting 
ecstacies. The gay insect that rejoices in the beauty of one 
flower and is equally satisfied with another can never know 
the aching remembrance of a joy that is gone, the wild, agonized 
yearning for what will never be again." 

Azta's bosom heaved. 

"O love me, I implore thee!" I cried in my evil passion. 
What could I do ! Heaven suddenly seemed too pure. Earth 
immeasurably too gross and vile for me ; yet why I loved this 
woman I could not tell. I had known others who passed 
from my fleeting remembrance like the fading of the sun; yet 
to her my whole soul went out. 

78 



AZTA. 

"Poor Asia," murmured she, with a sob, caressing me; 
whereat I took a little hope. 

" O Azta," I implored, " if thou canst not love me, at least 
let me come and gaze in thine eyes and see thee smile on 
me. Thou dost not know the torment of the love of Heaven 
unsatisfied! It is as a fire that scorches and sears the source 
which no magic word comes to unseal." 

I groaned in my agony, and like burning lava the tears fell 
from my eyes. 

Azta wept also. "What wouldst thou have?" she sobbed — 
"I do love thee, also." And nestling close to me, she kissed 
my lips, twining her fair arms around me. 

I held her closely to me, and marked how she trembled. 

"Thou art not the only one who has ever loved me," she 
whispered; "but methinks thou givest more than is thine 
to give." 

I had: and I trembled also at her words. Yet there was 
joy in her possession and I did but hold her closer to me. 

I slowly pressed back her hair, exposing the broad, white 
forehead, and fixed my eyes on hers so that my soul entered 
into her. 

" Did I not love thee so well, thou couldst not choose but 
follow me," I said. 

She did not shrink, but regarded me fixedly with fascinated 
eyes, smiling and without fear. 

"Wouldst thou force me?" she whispered; "wouldst thou 
take me in a whirlwind into unknown regions and leave me 
to perish in mid-air and return to Earth but in such fearful 
form as I have heard of, but never seen ? ' ' 

"Nay, my love!" I vowed, with passion; "never! Trust 
in my love and thou shalt do well." 

How beautiful she was, as, sitting straight up in front of me, 
she looked into my eyes. A brilliant butterfly lighted on her 
hair, waving his painted wings to and fro on the topmost curl 
that circled her brow. 

"I do love thee!" she cried rapturously; "yet have I told 
thee, I also love another. Canst thou not of thy mighty power 
know what shall be done?" she asked, throwing herself into 

79 



ATLANTIS. 

my arms, and sighing. Then suddenly she rose up, and placing 
her hands upon my breast and forehead, said : " Hast thou ever 
yearned, as though thy soul wandered alone searching its breath 
of life for that which shall satisfy it.' For the Ideal that at 
times thou thinkest to have found, yet doubting oft? And 
having believed to have found it, perceiving to thy torment 
yet others, but unwiUing to release thy soul's first love ? Wouldst 
thou cast me from thee — and ah, at times I dare not think of 
what might befall if thou didst!" She shuddered and stopped. 
"O Asia, what is love?" she cried, piteously. 

" My Azta, my Love, I know not. Love is the Life of God, 
and none can fathom it." 

She threw her arms impetuously round my neck and kissed 
me again. 

How I loved her ! and yet was I unhappy. 

"Fill thy soul with my love," I implored; "fill thy heart 
and brain, that thou mayest be faithful and remember." 

" I have prayed," she whispered, " yet nought but vague 
ideas come to me ; bold and unscrupulous, but useless. I see 
a plan, a beginning, but what will the end be?" 

"Cast ambition from thee, my Love," I said; "ambition 
is a cruel mistress, a Syren that oft lures to destruction. 
Remember this, my Azta, for a woman's spirit can sink as low 
as an Angel's, and a love that is unworthy of her may 
drag her down to Hell, its own coarser materials floating in 
the worldly matter." 

"And what wouldst thou have?" she asked. 

"Thy love!" I cried, passionately. 

She disengaged herself from my arms and gazed into my 
eyes, and through the amber flames her soul looked upon 
me. There was no need for words in that drama, where Earth 
challenged Heaven. Weakened by my evil desires, my gaze 
was mastered by hers, and her dumb voice seemed to cry to 
me — Wouldst thou, Asia, give up the pure joys of Heaven for 
an earthly woman's arms, a being whom thou believest to be 
fickle, and which belief may be proven in Hell's fires? Even 
now who is the dominant Spirit — the Archangel or the Woman ? — 
and what if she prove false? Consider and pause, thou who 

80 



AZTA. 

hast looked upon the face of God ; and think now that thou 
art subservient to a created being of Clay 1 

I looked upon her, half-hesitant, yet before my eyes her 
beauty appeared to increase. Her face became glorious, her 
skin as soft petals of lilies as it lay over the curves of her 
body,— her living, breathing, warm body that was so lissom and 
soft. And around her face the waves of molten gold fell and 
lay so wondrously on her fair shoulders and the swelling beauty 
of her bosom. 

I held forth my arms, and slowly she moved into their 
embrace, yet with her wonderful eyes full on mine. Her soft 
arms encircled my neck and she pressed her lips to mine, while 
there came, borne upon the breeze, a laugh, sarcastic, icy, 
bitter and low, yet with a note of triumph in it. As the winds 
that sweep over the yEolian harps of Angels came that sound 
between Earth and Sky, and died away into a sigh over all 
around. And the Sun set and there was nought for us two 
but our love, that must die, being of Earth. 



CAP. X. 



THE THRONE. 



The Throne of Atlantis, the Seat of the King of the Earth, 
was in a hall in the centre of the palace, from which could be 
seen a portion of the red terraces of steps, showing through 
the entrance, and the openings in the long shadowy courts and 
colonnades that spread in mazy vistas all around. The temple 
of Zul, above and to the left, was invisible from the hall, but 
the same entrance that exposed the stairway showed the sea 
in the distance and the nearer tops of buildings and trees. 

And before the throne lay the sceptre, symbol of Royalty and 
conquest, shaped like the National Standard, four-armed and 
cruciform, but surmounted by an orb of solid gold signifying, 
the Sun. 

The floor of the hall, of blocks of green marble with yellow 
markings, lay smooth and reflecting as a lake, from whose depths, 
in a square formation of great area, rose black marble columns 
rooted in pediments overlaid with gold, supporting a ceiling 
painted blue, in the midst of which was a rayed sun of gold, 
overspreading the throne. 

The great seat itself was a solid block of dark green marble, 
and two immense curved tusks of the mastodon, bedded in it, 
formed the arms. The platform on which it rested, of black 
marble like the columns, was surrounded on each of its four 
sides by four flights of steps with broad landings of the same 
sable hue and material, signifying the quarterly periods of life 
to be attained before the glory of the summit was reached, 
the first step from the floor overlaid with gold, a tall column 
rising from each corner for a support to the central ceiling and 
the golden symbol which hung upon it. A cushion, covered 
with leopard-skin, lay on the seat, and the whole aspect of the 



THE THRONE. 

hall was gloomy and magnificent, beyond all that had been 
before or will be again. 

Between the columns stood massive iron braziers, to hold 
the kindled fires ; on each side of the entrance lay a lion of 
large size and most formidable aspect, chained and odorous. 
At times the palace resounded with the roar of the majestic 
brutes, and their deep, muttering grumble made the ladies 
tremble on their couches of a night. 

Where are now the splendid beings who gathered in those 
past days in such bravery of majestic persons and glittering 
gems? Never before or since have such been known as those 
when Angels mingled their spirits with men ; a mystic wonder of 
sin without equal : and never again will such sight be seen as 
that great annual obeisance of the Lords of the Provinces before 
the might of Tekthah upon his throne of marble and ivory. 

I looked upon the hall, and on a large company gathered 
therein. The two grim watchers at the entrance lay prone on 
their lean flanks with heads erect; the Sun, setting over the 
western mountains, showing up in dark relief the two great 
shadowy forms, terrific in their vague suggestiveness. 

I saw Shar-Jatal and Izta, Nezca and Acoa the priest of Zul, 
and many more, conspicuous among them being the giant Amal, 
who had seven toes on each foot. I looked towards the tall 
figure that sat upon the throne, holding the sceptre, and per- 
ceived it to be Rhadaman; yet uneasy he was, doing a daring 
thing in thus raising himself to that seat on the square plinth, 
one step high, that had never been mounted before save by 
the Tzan and the Keeper of the Throne. But too often had 
he rehearsed this scene in his mind to hesitate now; and now 
must he strike a blow, or wait and be perchance supplanted. 

With a flushed face he rose to his towering height, and of 
a truth he was very pleasant to look upon. Yet his heart was 
evil and his ambition overcame all else, for now that man had 
gone astray from God it was each one's aim to be lord of all 
the rest. A Httle energy, he cried aloud, a little bloodshed, 
and the throne would be his by right of descent, and his friends 
should not be forgotten. This he said very graciously and with 
much meaning in his voice, and reminded all there that, should 

83 



ATLANTIS. 

Huitza return and the throne go to him, there would be the 
punishment of the stake and of the burning crucifix for many 
of Zul. To bestir themselves, to do a few desperate deeds — 
and then 1 

A murmur of applause greeted his words, and the clangour 
of metal as the chiefs beat their shields with the pummels of 
their swords ; but a panic overcame my mind. 

The prince smiled grimly. He reminded them of promised 
favours, and, turning to Acoa, bade him stir up the land against 
Huitza, who had vowed to hurl the gods of the Lower Fires 
into their crater for the destruction of his mistress, and recalled 
to certain individuals the chieftain's animosity. Having by cun- 
ning eloquence gained the ears and hearts of all, he showed a 
scheme whereby the end they were convened to discuss should 
be consummated. On the first day of the annual Circus games 
there would be a great feasting in the palace, and Gadema, 
Tekthah 's cup-bearer, should hand his sovereign a bowl of 
poison, while Targul, his pipe-bearer, should prepare a fatal 
herb for the pipe ; and after, the Tzan being dead, the gates 
of the city should be closed on all the gathered crowds, and* 
himself be proclaimed Tzan, concessions being granted to all 
assembled, and great rejoicings instituted. To Shar-Jatal should 
be given the territory of Tek-Ra, Huitza's dependency, and 
a great part of the success of the undertaking could depend 
upon him and his popularity. Let Gadema and Targul also 
see that they failed not in their work, and great reward should 
be theirs. 

The youths arose from where they sat, whom I had not at 
once perceived, and swore by Zul not to fail ; and then Acoa 
arose, with a deep plan in his face. 

Now I mistrusted the dark priest greatly, and was vexed in 
my mind to hear this consultation ; I believed my love for Azta 
and the fulfilment of my mission would have wished otherwise ; 
for I clave unto the latter by the pretended help of the former : 
yet forgot that which was being discussed was that planned by 
Mah. Therefore I caused to sound the tramp of many armed 
feet and the rattle of war-trappings, and a silence fell on all. 
Louder it came, and the chiefs, great men and valiant, fled by 

84 





, ■ . \ • 








,>v^r*"" '■ ' '^^'' '•^ * 




''•--■»"*'*''''-*->--'«^ ■"^■••■'-■r-rt ••■ vilggUl^. 




/ ■> :«««iwninnnHAilMMK!^il'^^^"^ L.*^ * 


■ ■- .'v-,'0 



THE THRONE. 

a little exit, all save Rhadaman. Alone he stood, yet trembling, 
and laid down the sceptre in its place. 

A growl from one of the lions startled him, and he gazed 
at the huge brute as it stood, a vague form against the bright- 
ness of the sky showing between the outer columns of the 







^^ 




1 ' ^-:'N-i> 


^^^H 




^w >»*- 


U 


i 




mm- 



AZTA CAST HERSELF NEGLIGENTLY ONTO THE SEAT. 



palace, with mane bristling and tail slowly waving from side 
to side. The other one growled too, and suddenly, as the 
knowledge of his sacrilege overcame the Tzantan, he hastened 
to the rear of the throne and crouched down, as the pat-pat 
of sandalled feet was heard on the very threshold. 

One glance he gave over his shoulder to perceive if there 

87 



ATLANTIS. 

was yet time to fly, but there was none. A figure entered 
with a little, ghding step, casting a piece of raw flesh to each 
guardian of the entrance, who made no great demonstrations, 
and Azta, summoned by my power, mounted straightly to the 
throne, and stepping up to it, cast herself neghgently onto the 
seat with a sigh. How lissom were her movements and how 
splendid her form I 

Amazement held the chieftain still, but he glared at the back 
of the throne as though by his eyes he would pierce it, and I 
knew he was hurriedly weighing in his mind the policy of making 
his presence known, but ere a resolve could shape itself the 
Tizin arose, and, stretching out both hands and advancing to 
the edge of the plinth, cried in a clear, ringing voice, " Welcome, 
my lord! " 

The prince started as he believed the Tzan to be approaching, 
and he knew that the only thing to do was to keep still and 
hope for the best that might come. 

With a musical laugh Azta clasped both hands to her breast 
and appeared to be in a species of ecstacy, while my heart* 
yearned to her so greatly that I longed to embrace her, be. 
lieving her to be addressing myself in thought; while in the 
silence of the vast apartment, unbroken by aught for a w^hile, 
Rhadaman waited for the recurrence of that sound of marching 
hundreds, with a mind too full of fears to marvel at such 
an unusual session and the novel manner of its initial procedure. 
He believed the throne would be surrounded by the Guards, 
and he would have to rise and take his place among them 
trusting to their silence. 

Yet no sound came, and then the Tizin spoke again. 

" And so, farewell for a space," she said, bowing to the 
marble seat and patting the leopard-skin smooth where she had 
pressed it; then, turning, she descended to the pavement and 
glided out through the entrance, undisturbed by the lion guards 
or the relieved chieftain. 

He uttered a blasphemous oath as she disappeared. Then, 
after waiting until she should be out of hearing, he, too, passed 
the lions, who growled ominously, and with a sigh of relief 
hastened after her. 



THE THRONE. 

A feeling of annoyance towards the prince had entered my 
heart. From his exclamations I perceived him to believe that 
Azta intended her salutation to apply to himself, and I remem- 
bered that he also had a passion for her. 

The Tizin had retired to her apartments, and to his chagrin, 
she refused to receive him on his prayer for an audience being 
presented. Nevertheless I wished to see in how much his 
passion for her ran, and how she received him ; and she was 
minded to relent, so that he entered and made a deep obeisance 
to her, kneeling and pressing her hand to his lips, the golden 
vulture-wings bending low before the Glory of Atlantis. I per- 
ceived that he hastily noted the surroundings and looked very 
curiously on the lady. And, by my faith, she was a queenly 
beauty as she lay on a gorgeous green couch, the upholstery 
of which blazed with golden butterflies and precious gems, 
half hidden by her imperial robes of purple and yellow covering 
a white gauze vestment that allowed her creamy body to be 
seen beneath it; and surrounding her were slaves with the 
golden skewers through their nostrils, the fan-bearers and those 
who always kept the apartment furnished with flowers, so that 
it was a wonder of scented colour and enravishing beauty. Old 
Na sat at the foot of the couch, and lying at her immense flat 
feet was a panther, held by a thin golden chain. 

At Azta's command all these retired and she was left alone 
with the prince, who still knelt, and leaned his great sword 
against a settee, looking the while amazed as though he sought 
to fathom the mystery of the armed tramp that had dispersed 
the assembly. On the ground he placed his helmet, casting 
his mantle beside it, and then awkwardly surveyed the beauty 
before him, who permitted him to gaze, enjoying his embar- 
rassment. 

" And so," she said at length, eyeing him through half closed 
eyes with an intensity that appeared to fascinate him, " my 
lord is happy; his rival has gone." 

He regarded her fixedly, suspicion and love struggling in his gazes. 

"And what of it?" he asked scornfully. 

"He was your enemy, and consequently — "she paused 

" Yours ! " 

89 



ATLANTIS. 

She bowed with a flattering smile, and her mood aroused him. 

He surveyed her from head to foot with blazing eyes. His 
manners were rough and impatient, and he suddenly caught her 
in his arms, his feelings not allowing time for tardy speeches 
to lead up diplomatically to such an act. 

"Dost know I love thee?" he said, kissing her Hps with 
burning fervour in spite of her remonstrances ; and scarce could 
I restrain my wrath at witnessing this. 

"Thou art in truth a rude suitor, by Zull " she cried angrily. 
"Of old I knew it; thinkest I am such a fool as thou?" 

The look of her yellow eyes made him uneasy, and the 
pointed speech cooled his sudden ardour. 

"Fool?" he said, with an awkward smile, relaxing his 
embrace. 

" Nay, take me not so seriously, it is not thy wont," she said, 
still with that ring of sarcasm in her voice. 

" I would wish to take thee seriously," he said hotly. 

" Pshaw ! a serious woman is but a sorry thing," she laughed, 
with ringing musical scorn. ■■ 

" Azta, thou tormentest me!" he cried, as, half-encouraged 
by her manner, he again caught her in an enraptured embrace. 

She looked on him and laughed, a silvery, ripphng, mocking 
laugh, that stung his ardour, but checked his purpose. 

"/torment thee!" she cried. "It is thy country that should 
torment. Thou, a Chief of armies; /, a mere helpless — " 

"Say it not!" he cried passionately, kissing her with rude 
rapture: "one moment of thee were worth all Atlantis!" 

" Shame, shame ! What when the lord Huitza shall come 
and lay siege to Zul, which has no defender? Tekthah is old 
and his house is divided." 

The prince stared at her, lost in a sudden thought. The 
lady knew not what had prompted her to say what she had, 
and half-fearfully she gazed on him ; and so they .stared the one 
at the other, each startled by their thoughts. 

"Dost thou know aught of this?" asked the chief, suspi- 
ciously. 

" Nay, by my faith," she said, laughing merrily and shaking 
her head. 

90 



THE THRONE. 

"The Tzan is old, as thou sayest," he said, drawing her 
towards him. 

" But until he dies, he is my lord," she responded, believing 
him to wish to press his suit, whereas he wished to fathom her 
feehngs with the end of supplanting Tekthah. And again he 
lost all interest in such and only wished to possess this splendid 
being. 

He gazed at her in rapture, excited by the wish and her 
apparent hesitancy. 

"Thou knowest how I love thee," he said earnestly, drawing 
her close to him; "thou knowest that thy title is an empty 
glory : wouldst thou not wish to have the name of Azta revered 
from one end of Atlantis to the other?" 

I trembled 1 The wife of this man 1 The knowledge rushed 
upon me overpoweringly and held me in such mute horror that 
I waited powerless, watching the struggle going on in Azta's 
mind and wishing I had revealed my presence at first. 

Now I became as a human man, with such an one's heart, 
and tasted to the full the torments of jealousy, which I had 
never perceived before. Oh, horror of that fall to Earth and 
Earth's woe I Never can I forget all I felt as I gazed on the 
features of my Love and read there the temptation of glory 
and power with the chance of an almost immediate fulfilment. 
And yet I did not know all. 

Suddenly I perceived Acoa, and then he was gone. On 
Azta's face all traces of mental struggle had vanished and an 
inspired look came into her eyes. She looked beyond the chief, 
and in a dreamy voice, as though she watched a scene, spoke. 

"Listen," she said; "before me is the Circus, and the crowds 
watch the arena. The trumpet sounds for the single combat 
on the third day, when the Champion of Atlantis steps forth 
and dares one to face him This time one appears. The 
Champion, Sir Chief," she said, suddenly gazing straight at him 
and changing her voice until it rang, " is thyself. If thou 
conquerest I will be the Queen of Atlantis." 

"And the other, O Love, the other.-" he whispered hoarsely. 

"Nay, I know not," she said, trembHng; "I could not see." 

"I will conquer!" he cried, with a great oath, raising his 

91 



ATLANTIS. 

arm and clenching his fist till the great muscles cracked, while 
his eyes flamed with the deadly purpose of his mind ; " Thou 
shall't be my Queen! Let me embrace thee, my Love!" 

"After — after!" she said, throwing out her hands. 

"Nay, but thou triflest with me!" he cried, enfrenzied, 
seizing her with rapture, and smothering her efforts to escape 
with a power far superior to her own. 

I cried his name in a voice of thumder, standing forth in the 
person of the Magician. He leaped to his feet, with his hand 
towards his sword that leaned against the settee. My stature 
o'ertopped his own, and my eyes blazed, yet so furious was he 
that he raised his sword to smite me to the earth, his teeth 
showing in a savage grin in his great black beard. 

As he leaped forward a wavering flash of fire laved the 
weapon and paralysed his arm. The sword fell ringing to the 
floor, and the would-be ravisher, with a shout of terror, fled, 
dazzled and half-stunned. 



92 



CAP. XL 



NOAH. 



Seeing me, Azta uttered a glad cry and threw herself into 
my arms, so that my heart was glad, and I kissed her again 
and again, perceiving her to be still under the influence of the 
vision, and not accountable for her former words. 

"Yet thou hast not done well," I cried. "Bad estate will it 
be to thee, the toy of such an one as yon debauched chieftain, 
and soon will he cast thee by as a flower that has ceased to 
bloom. Hast thou not learned that the love of Heaven is better 
than aught the Earth can offer?" 

She answered not, but hiding her face in my bosom, burst 
into a flood of tears and sobbed violently. I was distressed 
and amazed, not yet comprehending her nature, and believing 
that I was the lord of her heart, and none besides. I com- 
forted her, and my mind being in sore bewilderment and dwelling 
chiefly on what she had said concerning the vision, I required 
of her to tell me why she had promised to be the wife of such 
as Rhadaman when that he had overcome his opponent. 

" He will not overcome him," she answered, trembling ; " neither 
did I promise to be his Queen. And in truth it would have 
mattered nought had I so done." 

"Thou didst vow to be Queen of Atlantis?" I said, .still 
feeling sore. 

"And so will I; and of thy might could'st thou not make 
thyself Tzan of all the land?" she demanded desperately and 
imploringly; "thou, powerful, invincible? What could stand 
before thee?" 

I raised her up and looked into her eyes, that were as two 
lakes overbrimming with fire. 

"Not but in love may Heaven and Earth mingle, the adapt- 

93 



ATLANTIS. 

able life of all Spirits," I said, "else, if this might be so, there 
would be no mortal man." 

"How so?" she asked, wishing that I should expound the 
mysteries of Spirits unto her. Yet would I not do this thing. 

"Azta," I said, "the failing of thy beauteous sex is the 
failing of the angels and of every pure, fearless Spirit, longing 
to see hidden things, and things more gross than itself, and 
that only the Master-mind of great Jehovah can bear without 
defilement. The only thing that lasts, my Azta, is love, which, 
missed, we ever vainly grieve for. Man has less curiosity than 
woman, for that his more material mind, imagining more of 
PLarth than there is to be ever seen, is satiated with its own 
excesses. Dear one, the angels themselves, methinks, know 
not for why he was created, save that the likes of thine own 
fair self might be born to him." 

Her flaming hair lay over my arm, and streamed through 
my fingers as I caressed it. With an impetuous gesture she 
sat up and looked me full in the eyes. 

"Yet thyself, thou art a man." Her eyes, deprecatory and 
half-indignant, spoke the words ; her full hps moved not. 

" Dear Love, thou could'st not understand what I could tell 
thee now. I' faith of Heaven, I do not understand it quite 
myself. But Adam was formed of the atoms of Earth, and sex 
as thou knovvest it is not of Spirits." 

We sat in silence, and I tried to fathom the varying emotions 
that swept across her face. How subtle were these Earthly 
beings, and what great emotions they possessed ! and how cun- 
ning in contrivances they were ! For it was also known in 
Heaven that those of Earth were wiser in their generation 
than the Sons of Light, and I pondered deeply on this thing. 
yVlready I perceived in this fair being a nature of intense 
emotional characteristics; to triends steadfast and true, to 
enemies dangerous, waiting in apparent friendship until a proper 
time should come to strike a deadly blow. Brave to reck- 
lessness, yet cautious ; and as the supple reed, bowing to storms 
that could not be withstood, and, rising behind them, gaining 
the ends of an invincible determination by circumventing barriers 
that could not be broken down. Yet how far I knew not, nor 

94 



NOAH. 

was I to know at present; and although I saw many things 
clearly, yet others I perceived not, so that I should work my 
own punishment. 

For a while after that I was happy; and ever mindful of my 
mission, that I would not believe I was endeavouring to con- 
summate in sin by attempting to clean a polluted temple with 
the impure mediums of Earth, set my mind on Azta becoming 
the ruler of the land. 

Rhadaman, waiting for the Circus games, sank himself deeper 
in the pursuits of pleasure; mistrusting Azta because of her 
words regarding Huitza, and dismayed by her power that he 
believed had caused me to appear. He said nought concerning 
it, ashamed of his flight, but was busied in ingratiating himself 
with the Tzantans. 

Neither did Tekthah bestir himself, being overcome by an 
unaccountable lethargy which was shared by the rest of his 
household. The temple services, carried on with bloody pre- 
cision, and the near approach of the annual games, kept the 
minds of the pleasure-loving populace from all considerations 
of country or state. As long as they had plenty of amusements 
it mattered little if Tekthah were ruler or anyone else, and 
perchance they would prefer a little excitement to culminate in 
extraordinary rejoicings. Their lives were immoral to a degree, 
and passions growing with the ease of their satisfactions took 
the most extravagant lusts and cried for new pleasures. Also 
those who were more sober would wish for Huitza to rule 
them and raise the glory of Atlantis still higher, and thus the 
capital wavered in imbecile helplessness. 

But all were debased and evil. Obscene gods were wor- 
shipped, Hbations being poured over their hideous and grotesque 
forms, and tortured victims offered to them. In the market 
slaves were sold, and crowds gathered round and gazed lewdly 
on the blushing charms of kidnapped girls taken from among 
their own people, and prostitutes who voluntarily sold themselves 
to rich masters. Izta, the Lord of Astra, sold many young 
girls there, torn from the coast-villages and valued for their 
flaxen hair and their large bodies. Everything was violent and 
unnatural, and I, instead of elevating those who might purge 

95 



ATLANTIS. 

the land of its folly and reinstate the nation in integrity, sought 
to raise an Earthly Love to the throne and through her to do 
this. I say, I knew not Woman then, but dare I say what I 
should have done if I had ! 

Now in all the land there was but one man whose name 
was well spoken of in Heaven, with the names of his family. 
It was that Noah, the governor of Tek-Ra under Huitza, who 
with his wife Talasse, and his sons, great men and godly, and 
their wives and families, lived in holiness and rectitude, each 
man cherishing but one wife, and each woman owning but one 
lord. Neither did they at all yearn after the unnatural vanities 
of the land, in the inserting of gems in teeth or the abuse of 
strong wine or smoking-herbs or the eating of flesh ; keeping 
holy every seventh day, as was of very old legend. And Noah, 
who was a judge over the people, was just and upright in his 
judgments, not striving by the quarrels of others to seize things 
for himself, nor treating his servants harshly or improperly, 
striving to live in honourable relations and preventing his sons 
from inquiring into the hidden things which Kasyade the Angel, 
taught concerning demons. But Ham was kept at Zul as a 
secret hostage for the behaviour of his father. 

To Tek-Ra I conveyed myself, wishing to see this man, and 
thinking to behold a very godlike being. I chanced upon him 
as he sat in the shade under a portico of his palace, and, per- 
ceiving him to be small of stature, began to consider him of 
less account than I had heretofore. Yet I saw that no weight 
of years had quenched the fire of his bold, bright eye, and 
after, when I knew him better, I perceived that he had a 
sensitive spirit which by reason of its bent had been through 
the furnace of criticism harsh and galling to it, and through 
ridicule that toughened in bitterness what it failed in checking ; 
that by the failure of heart- wrought effort and bright and 
sanguine hopes his nature was crushed, but not annihilated, 
rising, Phoenix-like, to fight again, fiercely and bravely, and 
win at last. 

Methinks now that ofttimes smallness of bodily stature conduces 
to largeness of spiritual, for, perhaps, that when these smaller 
beings have overcome difficulties made doubly arduous by this 

96 



NOAH. 

defect, they are able, when powerful and free, to work 
with the hard energy of veterans who have striven desperately 
against circumstances that would have overpowered characters 
less tough, and with such tempered weapons to win a way 
to fame. 

Thus it was with the Patriarch. Now no sarcasm could 
instil its blasting poison into his soul, no wrath make tremble. 
In his communion with Heaven he was comforted, and for the 
lost sweets of Earthly life possessed the joy of impregnability 
from sorrow. So ever at last the waves of Time's ocean beat 
harmless on the iron-bound shores of Life, from which all the 
sand and that which was soft is washed away. 

"Ever thinking!" said a voice of the sweetest beauty, and 
a lady appeared, stepping out on to the portico. Save Azta's 
self, never had I beheld so fair a being, so like unto the holy 
Spirits of God ! Simple in mien and attire she was, with an 
etherial beauty that lighted her sweet face and gave to her 
carriage an unearthly majesty of which her innocent smile gave 
proof of no knowledge. This was Susi, the wife of Shem, 
firstborn of the Patriarch, she being of Edna, the master of 
Methusaleh through Lamech and Danaos the son of Lamech. 

Stepping up to her father-in-law, she laid her hand caress- 
ingly on his shoulder, looking into his face with a beaming 
smile of love. 

'•Thinking why there is no reward for sorrow, dear father, 
when thou sayest aloud, 'Trust in Jehovah and He will 
recompense thee an hundred-fold'?" 

She stood before him with her hands clasped on her bosom, 
white as most pure marble, and gazed on him with her lus- 
trous eyes. She seemed an Angel, and the old man looked 
on her for a while without movement or speech, and with an 
adoration that was almost worship. 

"Ay," he said slowly; "yet at times the soul is vexed. 
The countenance of Jehovah is turned from His servants and 
darkness falls upon their hearts." 

"O father, it is for a proof of thee," she said softly; "the 
servant who is faithful when his master's face is turned is most 
dearly loved of his lord." 

97 7 



ATLANTIS. 

The Patriarch looked on her in astonishment, and then he 
sunk his head. " I am a sinful man," he muttered, in a 
vexed voice. 

She seated herself at his feet and looked up into his 
stern face. 

"Nay, father," she said, " methinks thou art the best man 
that I have ever known." 

He placed his hand on her curls, brown and lustrous in their 
thick glory, and said sadly : 

" There are times when the soul is vexed sore and the things 
of this world seem to work together for evil. Then begins 
faith to wax unfaithful and our hearts put questions hard to 
answer. Behold the sin of the Earth and the wickedness of 
those in high places ! And now Huitza is fled from Zul with 
his army, and it fears me for my son Ham, who is in the 
midst of danger and temptations in the very palace of Tekthah 
and his wicked women. Why should it be made that sin is 
so pleasant and duty so hard, and that the sinner shall answer 
for what he is caused to do, and the good man reaps nought* 
but vexation and misery?" 

He spoke as to a superior, or as though he communed in 
truth with an Angel. 

" Father, this mood becomes thee not," cried the fair lady, 
distressed ; " was it not thyself who taught me that all shall 
be well in the next life?" 

"Ay," answered the sire, gazing into the blue sky; "and 
yet it seemed as though I led an Angel's footsteps." 

"Oh, father!" she cried, hiding her face, more distressed by 
the praise. 

"Hide not thy face, daughter," said the old man, very ten- 
derly; "'tis the candour of a graybeard and not the gallant 
speech of a youth. Look yonder to where the towers of Zul 
rise in daring wantonness to Heaven, look around at our own 
tall battlements, and tell me, is not Sin hid under a fair dis- 
guise. Yet it is there!" 

He spoke very bitterly and his words sank into my 
soul. 

"It is beautiful," said Susi, her blue eyes filling with tears; 



NOAH. 

" but it is like the wasp's nest and those bright beings like 
the wasps." 

Each was in perfect sympathy with the other; the fair 
lady's soft, white hand resting on the old man's hard, 
knotted one. 

He sighed. "I make thee sad," he said more cheer- 
fully. 

"Nay, but to see thee doubt, father," she said, "thou, my 
teacher 1 How oft hast thou chided my doubts, telling me they 
were but trials of faith, and truly it makes me sad to see thee 
doubt. I, what can / do, then? Yet now can I think alone, 
and oft have fair visions dispelled my sorrow." 

A holy rapture shone in her face, and the old man caught 
the enthusiasm. With a movement of joyfulness he drew her 
towards him and kissed her forehead. 

" Out of thy sweet lips speaks the Lord Jehovah to his old 
servant," he said, bowing his head. 

She blushed with a daring joy, that, however, was instantly 
suppressed by a meeker feeling, and then sprang to her feet 
as Shem approached from within, and ran to him. 

The firstborn of Noah was a great man, as tall as Ham, 
which was among the goodliest men of Zul, and his hair was 
long and black. He kissed Susi and bade her retire ; and made 
complaint to his sire concerning how the Tzan's tax-collectors 
had descended on the flocks and herds. There followed him 
Gomer, the son of Japheth, which was the third son of Noah, 
bearing a tool for hewing wood ; for he and Misraim, the son 
of Ham, with their workmen were building an engine of wood 
on the bank of a river that ran before the walls. He shook 
back his long hair to hear what his elders might say, and little 
methought then that he should be one of the first progenitors 
of a new race of man when that all save he and his families 
were dead — eheu, eheul my Love among them! 

The economy of the State was thus : Each of the greater 
nobles had a portion of land with a great city on it assigned 
to him, and from all on the land and in the cities at the time 
of tax-collecting toll was exacted. The Tzan drew from every 
territory and every city, less in proportion from each. Thus 

99 



ATLANTIS. 

the Lord of each territory drew a yearly tithe, and all over 
the land the Tzan drew one-twentieth. 

The season had been bad and the tax-collectors were over- 
bearing and insolent. Bad feeling was aroused and in places 
resistance was offered, but Noah advised submission when his 
son angrily stated the grievance. Their family was not popular 
by reason of their religious opinions and intolerance of bloodshed, 
and the people would not aid any measures fully. He reminded 
liim of Mehir's raid on Aten, and Rhadaman's on Talascan, 
which was the chief city of Atala, of which he was lord, to 
avenge a furious resistance to their collectors; how the latter 
had hanged the Governor and sacked the city, thereby 
impoverishing himself and having to make certain grants to 
induce people to go and live there again; which, however, would 
not keep Tekthah from taking an excuse to destroy all Tek-Ra 
to avenge himself on her rebellious lord, his son ; which would 
also cause great danger to Ham. 

•'It shall not be for long!" cried the old man; "the sins of 
this godless people cry to Heaven for vengeance on them.* 
The ways of God are perverted, and the Sons of God aid the 
ruin of the Sons of Earth. A day shall come when the sins 
of this people shall recoil in horror and destruction on their 
heads, and they shall be destroyed to make way for a race 
who shall carry out the end for which we are appointed!" 

His words stung me keenly, yet without amaze I felt the 
sting. The vision of Susi was fresh before me, and her sweet, 
innocent beauty ; and in a turmoil of emotions I groaned in 
horror and in terror. Kven now, even now could I have saved 
my .soul ! 

And turning away in sorrow, I wandered by a lake full of 
lotus flowers and feathery rushes, shaded by willows and elegant 
palms ; and thereby sat two lovers. The man was Alam, and 
he was of the family of Pharno the son of Lamech, and his 
beloved's name was Myra. And long he strove with her, all 
unavailingly, for she was very young and foolish, perceiving 
not how great his love for her was in so ungodly a land that 
he did entreat her so gently. And from them I took more 
comfort to myself, seeing that all the love of Earth was not 

lOO 



NOAH. 



withholden only from me; yet the thought of my selfishness 
tormented me in other days, for the youth grew from a gay, 
ardent boy to a man whose sternness was very great and cruel. 
And it was not until long after that I saw how things went 
with them, and marvelled at the going. 



Concerning the meaning of the names of the sons of Noah there is much 
controversy. One division, (the Elohistic, or priestly,) appears to assign to them 
a significance relating to the geographical distribution of nations, and another 
ethnographical. We see in Oen. X. 7 Sheba and Havilah as grandsons of Ham, 
and in ver. 28, 29 as descendants of Shem. But in these old histories there are 
many circumstances which alter apparent meanings; similarity of names, polyandrous 
descent, supplanting of one by another, and other things that we do not know of 
nor find mentioned. 

Of Shem, Wellhausen thinks, taking the Hebrew meaning of the word — "Name" 
— that "sons of name" as opposed to ''sons of no name," (Job XXX. 8, A. V, 
"sons of base men") would denote the pure-blooded Hebrews in antithesis to the 
subject Canaanites. 

Of Ham, the Encyclopaedia Britannica tells us that, "on the assumption that 
these early genealogies are geographical rather than personal or even ethnological, 
the name, which in Hebrew radically signifies "hot," would seem to indicate the 
torrid zone; and this inference, though not supported, so far as has hitherto been 
discovered, by any corresponding explanation of the names of Shem and Japheth, 
at least harmonizes well with the fact that on the whole Shem seems intended to 
denote the intermediate and Japheth the northern regions of the world as known 
to the compiler of the book of Genesis." 

With regard to the statement concerning the corresponding significance of the 
names of Shem and Japheth to Ham, this appears to be modified by what Mr. 
Gladstone tells us of the latter. He says^the Japhetites are those, (Japhah = fair,) 
of fair complexion — which I take to possess an ethnological and geographical 
significance equal to that of Ham, " hot," and would probably indicate the Aryan 
races, which in perfect keeping with the words of Gen. IX. 27, "God shall enlarge 
Japheth", are to-day the dominant power of the world. 

Yet, taking this supposition as correct, we find Japhetites subject to Gog, a 
Scythian prince, in Ezek. XXXVIII., where Meshech, Tubal and Gomer are cited 
as belonging to his great army which issues from the north. (V. v. 2. 6.) Now 
Magog signifies the Scythians, who were a Mongoloid race. But there need be 
no hesitation in saying that they were of a different race, for in V. 5 we find 
Aryan Persians and the Hamitic Ethiopians and Libyans in the same army. 



lOI 



CAP. XII. 



A MAN AND A NATION, 



That scene in Tek-Ra haunted me for ever by its silent 
index to what I should do, that nevertheless I impatiently 
dismissed, being foolishly and wickedly in love with Azta. For 
here Huitza could rule and make it the chief city of the land, 
counselled by Noah, whom he loved, and convertible to the old 
faith. And ever before me arises the form of Susi, beautiful 
and holy as an Angel and pure as a flower of Heaven. 

Yet back in haste I went to Zul, and to quiet my soul entered 
the great temple, for long sitting with those three awful images^ 
that ever looked upon the burning fires below, gazing into the 
lurid spaces where forms of evil sat. 

But a great shuddering seized me and a wish for human 
companionship, so. that I went up through the square aperture 
above to the vast chambers, and the weird sound that dwelt 
there swept round like a moaning sigh. The eyes of the colossi 
moved upon me and the bright pictures on the walls flared and 
smoked, the enormous representations of Neptsis with her lunar 
crown and the vast embryo of Zul flashed into vivid brilliance 
in all their mistic imagining, wondrous in the amorphous dark- 
ness that rolled so gradually from the lurid glow of the pit, 
and lost itself in the darkness. 

And above, sat Acoa before the brazier, on which slowly 
revolved a globe of lambent fire, clear as crystal, with a self- 
contained light that cast no shadow on the dark priest gazing 
upon it so earnestly. Above in the air tremulated Something, 
that lived and moved and breathed, but what it was I knew not. 

In the bright globe events were taking place and figures 
moved. Forms and faces appeared and vani.shed and certain 
things haj^pened with a sugge.stion of weird horror in them. I 

1 02 



A MAN AND A NATION. 

thought I perceived a great, throbbing current boiling and 
flowing, now flashing bright and falling in tumultuous descent, 
and anon a great purple flow with dark red spots in it that 
progressed slowly and choked the whirl of wonder. Great 
waves of gold, mighty billows of blood and horror, with waving, 
spectral hands that rose therefrom and clutched and quivered ; 
and awful, ghastly faces that seemed of terrestrial mould, but 
of so dreadful appearance as might not be seen but on the 
front of a Gorgon. These sank back and appeared to be stifled 
in the whirlpool, where there were dreadful despairing fiends 
that devoured their own flesh, and awful shapes not of Earth 
gnashing their serrated teeth in bloody foam and burning 
with fire, wriggling and writhing, disappearing under the 
boiling flood. 

I gazed in horror on the dark man, who watched with eyes 
dilated hideously. He appeared not to breathe, and his coun- 
tenance was as that of one long dead. 

A flash of light fell from the Shape that hovered above, and 
in place of the globe of fire came a bright scene that compelled 
the attention to its little space until it appeared to occupy all 
the Earth. From the Sun came a figure of flame, and the god 
.Zul ot stood upon the Earth ; and before him bowed a figure 
that was Acoa's. And to him was given a sword of lightning; 
but a dark, indistinguishable Thing flew across the scene and 
blotted it out, as the obsidian mirror flashed the rays of the 
Sun, with swift graduation to a blaze of light, over the great hall. 

"What is It?" whispered the High Priest, in a fierce, de- 
sperate whisper, gazing fearfully on the brazier, with the dilated 
pupils of his eyes shrivelling under the bright sunHght, his 
hands trembling with an ague and his chest heaving as 
though he laboured terribly for the panting breath that moved 
the froth on his lips. His long yellow robe shook from his 
shoulders to the folds about his feet, and I perceived that here 
the Spirit laboured greatly with a weak Clay. 

"Might I but seek Thee 1 " he groaned, clasping his temples 
with his hands; "could I but arrest this drain of Earth!" 

X Uriel ? 

103 



ATLANTIS. 

With a wonder and a purpose in his eyes he walked slowly 
to his couch and cried aloud a thing I understood not as he 
laid himself down and composed his limbs, invoking the demon 
known to man as Asmodeus by powerful enchantment. Gra- 
dually the light faded and a vacuum formed, and then an icy 
atmosphere filled the chamber as with a wind from the intense 
cold of those spaces of uttermost depths where the starry 
worlds revolve, and a featureless shadow flitted before my eyes, 
from which two orbs of great penetration fixed themselves 
with a fatal intensity upon Acoa. He appeared to fall into a 
deep slumber, and I watched curiously as the flesh of his hands 
and face seemed to wither and fall in onto the bones. His jaw 
dropped and his large eyes, opening, rolled upwards in a horrid 
stare. From his body, as a mist rising, issued a Shape, and I 
knew that no mortal eye could perceive it, forming slowly and 
with labour into an outlined figure, tall and comely, in the 
form of a youth like unto one of Us, and the face was as 
Acoa's would have been in lesser years. Yet, gazing around,, 
he looked as one astonished and bewildered and as seeking to 
hear a voice or recover some great thought that had escaped 
the memory, nor looked nor stirred when the dreadful Shadow 
with the fatal orbs took his hand. Then suddenly with a joyous 
look he vanished, instantly with the shadow. 

I stood astounded that such could be done by one of Earth ! 
what master-power limited the resources of such as himself — and 
myself? Perchance but the lack of the knowledge of a tiny 
germ stood between us and a power as mighty and comprehensive 
as great Jehovah's; perchance unknown oceans of differences 
separated us from it. Who could fathom these Earthly Things 
that looked as intelligently forth from an unfathomable mask! 
Godlike creatures that crawled from the teeming womb of Earth 
and overcame their Spirits by the overpowering might of 
tremendous evil, to die and with their foul corruption to breed 
more Life. Horrible! Horrible and awful! 

I considered the wonder of the individual man, and how that 
each one acted apart from the body of which each one was a 
part, and plotted for this end or that, striving in the dark to 
check another's plot, yet not understanding it at all, and causing 

104 



A MAN AT^D A NATION. 

endless confusion ; and with a sudden thrill of fear knew that 
I was in such case by my own volition. 

With a pang I looked on the children of Light, yet with a 
knowledge that I looked as Man might look, not caring to. leave 
his Clay, yet wistful of good at intervals. Over my heart swept 
the sound of the harps of countless spheres, whose strings are 
swept by the fingers of Time in such grand, celestial harmony, 
and I wept. In deepest adoration my soul knelt before Heaven, 
yet it was not all holy, for I shut out from my conscience all 
regarding Azta, determining to myself to do that which was right. 

And thus thinking I sped forth, careless of the daring mystery 
before me, and wishful of seeing my Love ; as a rudderless ship 
running with the current upon the rocks. 

Her I found by the fountains, perturbed in spirit because of 
the vision of the near-approaching Tournament, and uneasy, 
with all the people, at certain sights in the mountains, where 
the gods of fire dwelt. These with violence convulsed the earth, 
in thunder and smoke they leaped from the high points, and 
molten streams of lava, flowing over the valleys, drove the 
people away. From the mountain Axatlan a tall column of 
flame waved, like a larger sister to that on Zul, but wreathed 
in sulphureous smoke, from which were cast ashes over the land 
when the wind blew from the north-west. 

Perplexed and terrified, the populace immolated victims and 
offered up sacrifices to their abominable idols, deluging them 
with blood and wine. A hundred slaves fed the flames of Zul, 
and Tekthah with his whole household attended the sacrifices. 
The Magicians, free from vulgar superstitions, terrified the people 
by drawing lightning from the clouds and playing with huge 
serpents, some women being especially celebrated for their 
diabolical witch-craft and sorceries. These in gloomy clouds 
caused spirits to appear, and monstrous shapes, larvce of fearful 
aspect, that made audiences cry out with terror. 

The populace believed the gods were angry on account of 
the disappearance of Huitza, (which thing Acoa preached in 
secret,) and clamoured for his return, meeting in threatening 
mobs and howling furiously. All in the palace were alarmed, 
even Azta was terrified, yet still Rhadaman waited in lethargic 

105 



ATLANTIS. 

indolence for the Circus, when he beHeved all would come well. 
And this was eagerly wished for by all in authority to distract 
the attention of the populace, and give them competitions to 
fill their hands and thoughts with. 

The wrath of the gods was intermittent, the victims from the 
Circus might calm it altogether. So preached the various priests, 
wishful of their prizes, and the people hoped they were correct 
in their views, for they were fearful of the fire-demons. 

As the day for the Tournament approached, runners were 
sent all over the land to proclaim the great event and to pray 
rich offerings. The gates of Zul were thrown open, the retractile 
bridges propelled across the sea- moat, and from near and far 
the people crowded in over them to participate in the games 
and the dreadful temple rites. From all the villages of the 
Ilavan coast they came, from the Astran cities, Surapa, Hanat, 
Sagara, Mutasara, Sham and En-Ra, from far Bitaranu and 
Hitsar, from Bar-Asan, Katalaria, Muzran and all the cities of 
1 rocoatla, and all the cities of Tek-Ra and Chalac, from Reb, ^ 
Ilir, Anduku, and Talascan in Atala. Yet by reason of the 
fear of Huitza the governors of the larger cities were commanded 
to stay within their walls, and but half the citizens of each were 
permitted to come to the capital, toll being taken of each by 
special officers appointed ; for that it was feared that the Chief 
might seize such cities, if undefended, and fortify himself therein. 
And it was also argued that if, despite, he seized upon such, 
they would have but half the number of inhabitants therein, and 
he might be besieged and crushed; for great concessions were 
about to be made to the people assembled in Zul to cause 
them to forsake their love of the rebellious prince. Also Ham 
and his family were securely guarded, lest in the great crowds 
they might seek to escape to Tek-Ra and carry information 
of value thereto. 

I perceived the fear of Huitza to be very great, he being 
esteemed the ablest general of the land; and most would 
have wished to see him Tzan notwithstanding they yet revered 
Tekthah. 

rVom such tribesmen as were from the frontiers came alarming 
reports of the prowess of the savage tribes, which were becoming 

1 06 



A MAN AND A NATION. 

a great menace, driving back the hunters from the farther 
hunting-grounds and even approaching outlying cities and pallos, 
of which there were very many. The warriors who should 
keep them in check caroused within walls, and all complained 
bitterly of the apathy of their Patriarchs. Many of these border 
tribesmen spoke with vile and barbarous tongues, half of their 
own people and half of the savages, with whom they to an 
extent intermingled so that their offspring were degraded and 
often unowned. 

Crowds listened to their stories, but their grievances were 
forgotten for the moment in wonderment at all they saw ; for 
the grandeur and immensity of Zul greatly surpassed all other 
cities, even the larger ones ; and the wonder of the sea and 
the shipping within the harbour held them speechless. They 
gazed on the great warships Tacoatlanta, Mexteo and others, 
and the crowd of smaller boats in wonderment, and frowned 
with awe on the enormous pile of Zul and the battlements and 
terraces of the grand palace of Tekthah. 

Sauntering through the streets, tall hunters and herdsmen, 
clad in skins, looked curiously on the yellow-robed citizens of 
Zul and other cities, and gaped at the legionaries, shaking 
the large pendants of gold, metal or pebbles in their ears and 
nostrils with wonder at all they saw. The steps, pillars, columns, 
arches, paintings and sculpture, the vast temples and palaces of 
the great, were marvels to them. Sowers of grain, fishermen, 
miners and collectors of dyes, stones and feathers, walked 
shoulder to shoulder with hoary astronomers and astrologers 
and overbearing troop-leaders ; gaunt, unkempt savages ex- 
changed stares with exquisite, effeminate myrmidons of the 
palace, and haughty queens looked with invincible curiosity on 
wild-eyed daughters of the frontiers. Here and there the 
crowds scattered before the palanquin of some great lady, or 
gathered round an agile and marvellous juggler or an awe- 
inspiring Magician, terrified by his arts, breathless at his daring 
and blasphemous audacity. Long-haired barbarians traded 
valuable furs and shells for trifles of civilization with which to 
adorn their persons, or for foods and drinks which they never 
tasted the like of elsewhere. 

107 



ATLANTIS. 

There was a vast encampment outside the walls, a city of 
tents and simple wind-breaks, full at night, but deserted in 
the day by reason of all the occupiers having gone into the 
wonderful city. After each of these annual festivals many 
women, attracted by the splendour, stayed behind and swelled 
the ranks of the wretched beings who plied their evil trade 
round the walls and barracks of the troops; and many were 
kept back by force. 

Most of these simple people had brought offerings for the 
various gods, and had with them numbers of captives, taken 
in raids, which were handed over to barbarous deaths. Also 
the)- brought numbers of captured women and young girls to 
be sold into the harems, some worthy of the Imperial protec- 
tion, but most sold or bartered to the first bidder; and one of 
the first things among the nobles of Zul on any visit of the 
tribes or other townspeople was to either go themselves to 
obtain the captives they were sure to bring, or obtain them 
through well-known agents. ' 

All the land appeared to have surrendered itself to the pleasures 
of the body, and merely lived to appease bestial lusts and 
indulge in obscene excitement ; the common peoples openly, 
the higher classes in stealth, and with a deadly insidiousness 
that sapped the virtues of husbands, wives and families, im- 
pregnated with the poison of every sin of Earth. Lust, Suspi- 
cion, Intrigue, Violence and Corruption sat in the high places 
and dared the wrath of the Almighty, and I trembled as I 
thought upon it, which, alas, I seldom did, and then but in 
rebellion that only certain courses could alter it. 



1 08 



CAP. XIII. 



THE CIRCUS. 



There were fearful scenes in the city, and of a night torches 
were used broadcast to illuminate the places ; the Market S(|uare 
was ablaze with the lurid glare of bonfires, by the light of 
which, and the torches, drunken revelries were carried far into 
the night, the day being devoted to sight-seeing. The strains 
of music from the palace and the roar of the lions that guarded 
the Hall of the Throne of Atlantis excited those who were 
within reach of the sounds, and they howled and roared as 
though wild beasts themselves, drunk with wine and full of 
mischief, revelling in the unwonted luxuries of the city, and 
particularly the herbs burnt in pipes and inhaled. 

A legion from Trocoatla under the Governor Azco, passing 
through them, dealt blows right and left, cleaving its way by 
force of arms and moving onwards leaving a wake of stunned 
and wounded wretches in its rear, whose shrieks and moans, 
added to the pandemonium of wild minstrelsy, clang of armour, 
and heavy, measured tramp of feet, stilled for a brief while the 
noises of the revellers. Lewd songs were shouted and wanton 
scenes enacted, and here a furious brawl progressed where 
two men fought for the possession of some woman, who was 
usually abducted by a third. Nude wretches danced in bac- 
chanalian wantonness in circles with joined hands, the women 
more fiendlike and abandoned than the men, and overpowered 
debauchees lay like corpses at the mercy of a myriad trampling 
feet. Wild shrieks rose above the uproar, Licence fed on fruits 
that dropped into its open mouth, agape with drunkenness; the 
populace was madder and more abandoned than ever before. 

x^bove the glare of the fires, high above in the darkness, 
the cold, bright stars shone, but those in the palaces, and even 

109 



ATLANTIS. 

the priestesses in the temples, trembled at the roaring saturnalia, 
and forgot all but the danger of some mad outburst, indulging 
in resolves of clearing the streets at sunset when the next 
annual celebrations arrived. 

So two or three nights passed, each more boisterous than 
the last, by reason of increasing multitudes, and then the first 
day of the Tournament arrived. 

The Circus was thrown open a few hours after sunrise. The 
rows of seats, tier above tier, were crowded to overflowing, 
and when every one was seated a blaze of trumpets proclaimed 
the arrival of the Tzan and his household, and the High Priest 
of the temple of the Sun. 

Conspicuous among all his towering guards and giant sons 
stood the old warrior, the founder of the Empire, who had 
consolidated the tribes and extended the sway of their conquering 
race afar. Before him was carried the National Standard and 
the Imperial Sceptre ; behind him strode his private magicians 
and astrologers, those tall dark men clad in flowing robes who- 
advised him confidentially; and behind them were led in chains 
four large lions, two slaves leading each. These men were 
immense, as tall as the Tzan and of enormous development, 
and from ear to ear their white teeth showed in dazzling contra.st 
to their heavy, black features. 

Then came the princes of Atlantis : Rhadaman with his great 
winged helmet, Mehir, Nezca, Amal, Colosse and a hundred 
other well-known figures ; conspicuously Shar-Jatal, the People's 
Representative, smiling in order that the jewels in his teeth 
might gleam ; the Chief Adar, covered from head to foot in 
glittering scales of bronze, beautiful and dreadful to look upon ; 
all walking slowly and haughtily, their armour flashing as they 
moved, their cothurns clanking to their heavy tread. There 
strode Patriarchs and Tzantans in glittering armour, crested 
with plumes of ostrich, eagle and scarlet flamingo, horns of 
various animals and metal symbols, the sons of Tekthah with 
the vulture-wings, in all the glory of warlike panoply and 
magnificence, with flashing arms and ornaments and splendid 
mantles bright in the dazzling sunlight. All were there save 
Huitza, concerning whom a great murmur arose as those which 

I lo 



THE CIRCUS. 

knew of his setting forth told those nearest, and those who 
were ignorant of it loudly demanded to be enlightened. 

In the rear of this procession of the warriors came the 
palanquins of the ladies, rich with yellow metal and gems, and 
green, purple and yellow housings. On these the eyes of the 
populace blazed with a daring wish to possess their lovely 
occupants radiant with powder and jewels. 

There rode my Love, the haughty Azta, her hair falling in 
two great waves either side of her face, the returning ends 
brought up under the jewelled strap above which reposed in 
queenly majesty the Lunar crown of State, the headdress of 
the Tizin of Atlantis. From the crown, representing an egg, 
emerged on high the similitude of a serpent, which a great 
plaited coil of hair appeared to continue at the back, and either 
side of the shining crystal moon a great serpent upheld the 
structure, whose scaly body, resting upon the shoulders, supported 
the weight. Tekthah's crown was the same, save that in place 
of the crystal moon was the Solar disc of gold, and the topmost 
serpent carried outspread wings. Selfpossessed and with a 
slight sneer on her pale face, Azta's disdainful eyes languidly 
hovered in their yellow fires over the waving myriads in the 
vast amphitheatre, whose various dresses formed a kaleidoscopic 
and wondrous effect. 

There, also, rode Sada, whose great dark eyes and voluptuous 
charms won that admiration of the people that for the Tizin 
was lost in wonder and astonishment at her strange, unearthly 
beauty ; Tua, with the softest of blue eyes, a daughter of Tekthah ; 
Teta, with the magnificence of brown hair and the prettiest of 
lips, and Semaia, a rival to Azta in form. Pocatepa, in the 
full insignia of Neptsis came at the head of all the priestesses, 
who were there to claim the victims for the altars of the goddess ; 
and all these, and many more, came in for open-mouthed 
regards. One popular favourite was missing — it was Fae. 

Attendant upon each person was the peculiar suite ; the 
shield-bearer, pipe-bearer, fan-bearer, and, of the ladies, scent- 
bearers, and large retinues besides, so that there was a very 
great multitude altogether, very splendid and magnificent, moving 
onward in an endless stream of coloured magnificence. 

1 1 1 



ATLANTIS. 

The roar of triumph that had greeted the mighty Tzan 
continued unbrokenly as each popular personage came in sight; 
and, by the truth of God, it was a stirring sound and thrilling. 
What triumph for man, this applause of a nation! 

And how brightly spread that myriad-eyed array I The gleam 
of gold and silver among the soft tints of mantles and feathers, 
the waving of coloured fans as a meadow of flowers swayed by 
the breeze, the sparkle of gems as some languid beauty moved 
a rounded arm on which golden ceintures held the wealth of 
empires, the glittering armlets of warriors, some formed as 
serpents, and plates fastened to bands confining the hirsute 
glories of some princess. Above some chevelures flashed gemmed 
tiaras of fabulous worth, and necklaces of priceless pearls from 
Astra enhanced the soft beauty of many a round, white throat. 
It was a gorgeous array of splendour and magnificence 1 

When these were seated, a trumpet-sound broke the expectant 
stillness. This was the first day of the Circus, when Rhadaman 
had said that in the night Tekthah should die, and I looked to ' 
where the Tzantan sat, and wondered would he wait until the 
prophetic third day before he took any steps. 

A trap was opened beneath the seats and from it a horse 
bounded into the vast arena, surveying the scene with startled 
eyes and pricked ears, suddenly transferring his attention to a 
great, lithe, catlike creature that leaped from another trap, and, 
belly to the earth, crept swiftly towards him. As, with a snort, 
he turned, the spotted leopard leaped towards him with three 
lightning bounds, but the shying little savage of the plains 
avoided the fate, and with a swing of his heels rolling the 
leopard over, fled like the wind. He eluded another in like 
manner that was sent in to aid the first, and when the two 
were aided al.so by a third and caught him, he killed one and 
fought the remaining two with teeth and hoofs, but succumbed 
at length. 

Then the victors had to fight a lion, who vanquished them 
and then killed a horse and a buffalo and was finally impaled 
on the spear-like horns of a large antelope. 

There were many more such combats, and some where numbers 
of animals took part, all of which the crowds applauded or 

I 12 



THE CIRCUS. 

disapproved, exchanging bets on the results, oc They licked their 
lips at the sight of blood, showing their large white teeth and red . 
gums, at times uttering their formidable cries of approval Or 
disapproval and calling on their gods to aid the combatant of 
their choice. 

Among them promenaded vendors of water, wine and solid 
food-stuffs, long-handled fans to ward off the hot sun-rays, and 
small images of all the various gods. Musicians added discord 
to uproar, and from the Imperial quarter the odours of perfumes 
floated, sprinkled by slaves upon the air to ward off the odour 
of the multitude. 

The combatants fought on down there, watched by the 
myriads of pitiless eyes, which began to perceive in them a 
sameness, so that there were roars of joy when human beings 
appeared to compete with the brutes. 

The first was him I recognised as Gadema ; and, startled, I 
looked to where Azta sat. Unflinchingly she gazed at him, and 
afterwards she told me that she had prevailed upon Tekthah 
to consign him thither for an act of insolence to herself; and 
now, as his pallid face sought her out, she drew a slave before 
her that he might not see where she sat. And his competition 
was this; that he should race the length of the arena against 
an auroch, and if he reached a little trap at the other side he 
could escape, but if not he must do what he might with 
a knife which he wore in a belt, which was also his only 
clothing. 

Poor boy! There he stood, a figure of faultless symmetry, 
trembling with fear as the roar of his handicapped pursuer fell 
on his ear. for he had a start of one-tenth of the arena. Yet 
not alone he trembled, for Rhadaman and Shar-Jatal and 
others of the conspirators, perceiving him, and totally unaware 
of such an entry, were filled with the direst forebodings, believing 
all to be known and this the first victim of a wrath they feared. 
In mute dismay they sat, therefore, revolving in their minds 

X It is not stated how many animals were in the arena at one time. But in 
the Roman amphitheatre, Scylla exhibited a combat in which lOO lions took part, 
Cnesar 400, and Pompey 600. This is on the authority of Pliny, who informs us 
that Quintus Curtius started the savage pastime. 

113 8 



ATLANTIS. 

this thing, and I perceived how their eyes looked more inwardly 
than on the arena. 

The great bull leaped from the trap and Gadema sped ofif 
like the wind to race for his life ; and so still was the multitude 
that the flying patter of feet could be heard. With death rn 
his eye the bold auroch bounded after the white racer in front, 
who.se only hope was in his speed, for he could not fight such 
an opponent with his hands, like it was remembered of the 
prince Azco, who, unaided and alone, had fought with and slain 
such another opponent. 

Shar-Jatal, who ever kept a calm head, made an imperious 
signal to some one at the goal-end of the arena ; and Gadema, 
perceiving the door of safety close, faltered in his stride and 
shouted aloud with a great despairing cry. For the merciless 
Tzantan was minded that he should not escape, being within 
the clutch of Tekthah, to whom, if he had not already confided 
ought, he never should. 

It was no good racing. The youth desperately faced the 
beast; yet accustomed to be petted and pampered he was no 
fit combatant in such a contest, and his failing heart would not 
support the half-formed resolve. To the disappointment of the 
audience he again turned, in the very moment of time, and as 
the thundering auroch halted with a bound and raised his head, 
astonished at meeting no opposition, he beheld his victim 
skimming over the arena like a bird at right angles to his 
former course. 

Most of the people, not understanding the reason for this, 
were astonished ; for although they had heard the victim's cry 
and seen him falter, the glare of the sun prevented them from 
seeing the reason ; for the door by which he might have escaped, 
sunk deeply, presented the same gray .square whether open or 
shut. 

How brutal was the mind of the crowd! For, with a futile 
hope in their pity, the youth, reaching the wall, endeavoured to 
climb up into .safety. Rut handfuls of dust were cast on him 
and vengeful epithets .shouted on his luckless head; clubs beat 
his poor fingers to pulp, and falling back on the horns of his 
pursuer he was cast into the arena. 

114 



THE CIRCUS. 

Dazed and trembling with terror and pain the youth again 
fled, and the people roared to encourage him, various war-cries 
and the shrill whistles of certain warriors of Atala rising high 
above the din. Blinded and bruised he staggered on, and only 
by falling escaped the auroch's charge. He clutched for his 
knife, but it was gone; but as in that was his only hope he 
rose up and, running with incredible swiftness, found it. 

The baffled and enraged bull was on him again, and with a 
shuddering cry the boy plunged the blade into his own heart, 
preferring to die thus ; and the body that, hurled by those cruel 
horns, went with the rush of a missile into the crowd, was a 
lifeless one. 

Ill would it have been for Shar-Jatal had Azta known of his 
treachery to the hapless boy, for methought her eyes flashed 
furiously now that he was dead and that she repented of such 
scene having transpired. Yet other events followed so rapidly 
that there was not much time for thought, and I perceived 
Rhadaman and the other conspirators to be more at ease as the 
time went on. And that night Targul the pipe-bearer died by 
violence, being secretly put away by Shar-Jatal's orders lest he 
might be terrified into confiding any secret to Tekthah. 

There followed terrible fights between men and beasts, in 
which sometimes the men had arms, sometimes not; and occa- 
sionally some godlike man would rend the beasts single-handed 
by a wondrous exhibition of giant strength. A few, like Gadema, 
ended an unequal combat by an easier death than any they 
could receive from their brute antagonists; and at such a 
culmination the multitudes cried out with rage and gnashed 
their teeth. 

Night came, ending the sports for the day and starting its 
own diabolical saturnalia, and in the sheer movements of crowds 
many were killed. The next day was the same as the first, on 
a grander and still larger scale; the third day was for human 
combats only, to finish with that foretold scene when the 
Champion of Atlantis should fight with an unknown person, 
and — 

And what! What would follow? I knew not. 



115 



CAP. XIV. 



THE THIRD DAY, 



The morning of the third clay broke, the day of great events 
and great expectations. For this day was proclamation of con- 
cessions to be made to all the people by Tekthah to bind their 
hearts to him and keep them from following after Huitza; and 
it was to be of great moment to Rhadaman and a turning- 
point of many things. For this day had many hearts waited, 
and it had come— and now is it gone, gone by afar and for ever. 

Mow eager they were in their strength and wickedness, those 
lusty ones who watched the arena, where men wrestled in oiled 
nakedness, armed or weaponless ! Huge spears, hurled by Ti- 
tannic arms with the force of thunderbolts, smote through four- 
fold shield and softer body, and stood smoking out behind, to 
the delight of the populace. Troops of warriors joined furious 
battle, and slings sent stones flying unseen, that sent horrid 
splashes of blood and brains spattering about. A few noted 
champions engaged many or fought one another, and the war- 
cries of various tribes arose shrill and long from the excited 
audience. Slaves and captives were butchered wholesale; smashed, 
stabbed, gashed, thrust through, strangled and broken by their 
.savage and horrible opponents, who were of the race of their 
conquerors. 

My heart sickens now to think of that carnival of horror 
which I perceived for the first time ; but what power could 
have stopped so great a deed ? And I also hoped for something, 
I knew not what, to happen after this dreadful fete. 

At length came the concluding ceremony of the games, which 
sadden me to think of, and I looked to see now what I should 
see. This was the challenge of the Champion of Atlantis to 
di.spute his right by single combat to the title. 

Ii6 



THE THIRD DAY. 



I understood this was, as a rule, an empty ceremony. A 
captain advanced to the centre of the arena and in a stento- 




A GREAT SENSATION PASSED THROUGH THE IMPERIAL THRONG. 



rian voice announced that the Lord Rhadaman, first-born of the 
King of the Earth, and Tzantan of the armies of Atlantis, desired 
to be known as Champion, and challenged all or anybody to 

117 



ATLANTIS. 

dispute the title by trial of single combat Then, after a silence, 
the prince took the stand of the retired herald and was blessed 
by Acoa, and that ended it. 

But this time, as Azta had said, a man entered from an 
opposite direction to that from which the herald had come, 
dressed in equal style; and, in the dead silence that followed 
the pompous speech, declared, in a voice that could be heard 
by all the astonished multitude, that there was one who would 
do battle in dispute of such title. 

Tekthah started, and a great sensation passed through the 
Imperial throng, while all the conspirators believed themselves 
to be discovered, and this to be the commencement of their 
doom. I perceived Azta to pale and catch her breath, and a 
vast bewilderment seized all, who marvelled what manner of 
man it might be who dared defy the mighty Chieftain, son of 
great Tekthah ! 

1 saw a dark frown gather on the Tzantan's brows, and the 
thought that this was the end before the beginning of an 
evil and bloody march to the throne, lay heavy on him as 
he rose up and shook his great body, looking steadily round 
on the warriors and princes about him. For a moment I per- 
ceived it was in their minds to do instantly some desperate 
deed ; yet nought had transpired to show that the conspiracy 
against the sire was suspected, save the sacrifice of Gadema; 
and Rhadaman believed that if the plot was known and he had 
to die, this fashion would be as well as another, and if not, all 
would come as he believed ; and no good could come of a wild 
uprising. As he passed Azta he said in a voice of menace and 
angry despair, yet withal breathing a savage pride: "Thou 
wilt remember! Thou .shalt be Tizin of Atlantis!" 

She nodded. The eyes of all were directed to a spot in 
the Circus, whence came, through that door that doomed 
Gadema to death, a tall figure. Completely hidden by his 
armour from any recognition, he carried spear, sword and shield, 
and stalked to the centre of the arena, casting a long, slow 
stare round the sea of faces. 

A dense silence reigned, broken only by whispered guesses 
as to whom this might be. Now, facing him, Rhadaman ap- 

Il8 



THE THIRD DAY. 

peared, and immediate comparisons and notes were made and 
bets exchanged. 

The combatants appeared to be equally matched, and the gaping 
crowds noted it the while they joyfully prepared to watch the 
unexpected treat. Both of towering and goodly proportions, 
splendidly limbed and of tremendous power, they were clad 
completely in armour, and the helmets had visors that hid the 
features, — Rhadaman's overshadowed by the golden vulture-wings, 
the stranger's topped by the horns of the buffalo. Over their 
shoulders hung the enormous round shields, ponderous and 
weighty, but on the stranger's was no token to disclose who he 
might be, and none could guess save at hazard. The visor of 
his helmet was but the leathern shield of the common soldier, 
but his manner and bearing proclaimed a high birthright. 

At a flourish of trumpets the heralds withdrew and left the 
arena clear for the rival Champions ; and looking at Azta, I saw 
her gaze on the stranger with her yellow eyes afire, her lips 
drawn tight over her teeth, and her hands clenched to her bosom 
as though to still the heart whose beatings I could almost 
perceive. 

In a deathlike silence the duellists faced one another. Then, 
both turning, strode fifty paces apart and struck their spears 
into the earth; and again facing, drew their swords and advanced 
with uplifted shields. 

At the display of knowledge as to the etiquette of the duel 
on the part of the stranger a murmur arose. The Imperial 
party leaned forward on their couches, watching anxiously, Azta 
with the look on her face that she wore while she read the 
vision. The combatants slowly circled the one round the other, 
watching for the sHghtest opportunity to direct a blow, yet 
Rhadaman seemed overbearing and confident, knowing the eyes 
of his fondly-imagined mistress were upon him. 

He suddenly leaped towards his opponent, and quick as 
lightning his great blade circled and cut upward; with equal 
rapidity it was arrested on the opposing shield, and he sank down 
to escape a deadly sweep that flashed in an arc of light over 
his own buckler. With a shout he leaped up and swung his 
sword, it hovering in its mortal dartings right, left and in light- 

119 



ATLANTIS. 

nm^ circles; and rapid strokes were given and parried, the 
swords looking like lightning flashes; and the thud and clang 
rose fast and loud in the intense silence. 

I saw wagers being given and taken quickly as the stranger's 
prowess became greatly apparent to all, but over the crowd a 
vast silence lay for the most part. So great a display of swords- 
manshii) had never before been witnessed, and all trembled to 
perceive an unknown champion in their midst who could thus 
stand up against Rhadaman. 

An upward cut from the unknown warrior was followed 
instantaneously by a manceuvre so rapid that scarce an eye 
perceived the masterly stroke that lopped one of the high wings 
from his opponent's helm and crushed down the other one. At 
the sight a subdued shout arose and rolled like thunder through 
Ihe crowds ; half of interest, half of involuntary dismay. The 
populace remembered the legends of gods fighting on Earth, 
and although they worshipped such with much joyfulness and 
sacrifice of the blood of men, they did not profess any wish 
to risk such an experiment as having one as a ruler, now that 
such contingency appeared possible. But their interest was 
c[uickly absorbed in the rapid play of blade and shield as the 
giants fought with labouring breath. 

Presently blood flew into the air in a red flying circle from 
a whirling blade, and a murmur burst forth like the sound of 
a stormy wind as every man bared his teeth and drew his 
breath over them with a hiss. With anxiety they watched, 
hoi)ing their champion would finally win, for no one knew what 
the other portended, nor indeed did they care to know. And 
the greater the prowess of the stranger became apparent, the 
less the people loved to perceive it, and the wildest guesses 
were made as to whom it might be who thus dared their best 
warrior to single combat in their very midst. Would that 
Huitza were here to engage the mighty champion! 

Untiringly the combatants fought, their dreadful blows falling 
with a might that caused wonderment at their being withstood. 
The Tzantan retreated back to where his spear was standing, 
and suddenly reaching round, plucked the huge staff from the 
earth, changing his sword to the hand behind the shield. Before 

120 



THE THir<D DAY. 

his opponent could move to avoid the dreadful weapon it fell 
on him like a thunderbolt, driving him to the earth under his 
transfixed shield. 

A deafening roar of relief broke from the vast concourse. 
Tekthah rose to his fqet with a great pride in his first-born, 
but a cry broke from Azta, a sound of indescribable emotion. 

The triumphant chieftain rushed on his fallen foe, and the 
shouts gave sudden place to hysterical silence. If this were a 
god, now let him show his ^owerl And it was so that before 
the vengeful sword of Rhadaman could fall, a mighty sword- 
sweep from the prostrate unknown one shore off a foot at the 
ankle and bit into his other leg, so that he fell on the other's shield. 

Triumph was turned to dismay, victory to direst uncertainty, 
as the transfixed warrior rose up, and shaking off shield and 
spear .stood erect and apparently unhurt. 

Rhadaman swept out at him in like fashion with his blade, 
but this the stranger avoided by an upward spring; yet not 
altogether, for a sandal flew off and a red .stream of blood 
gushed from the wounded foot. 

The fallen Tzantan crouched behind his shield, and the Im- 
perial party groaned ; yet not so did Azta, but gazed in marble 
silence A hush as of death fell over the vast crowds, as with 
suspended breath they crouched in nearly uncontrollable excite- 
ment, craning their necks and exposing their teeth. 

There was a stir in the Imperial party, hasty consultations 
and violent gestures. Over the crowds swayed a sound like 
the sound of a storm in the great forests, as they watched and 
speculated while Tekthah hastily discussed if the usual law of 
fight to a finish should be permitted. Whereat a smile passed 
across the Tizin's fateful countenance, serene and deadly. 

The stranger allowed no time for such argument. In turn 
wielding his spear, the dreadful weapon transfixed the Tzantan's 
shield through the centre of the solar ornament and bored the 
sevenfold mighty buckler with irresistible force. Pierced through, 
Rhadaman leaped up and fell back with a groan, and the noise 
of his fall was as of a tower falling. Yet did he struggle up 
with the blood bursting from his mouth and deluging him from 
his beard, but it was his last move. 

121 



ATLANTIS. 

Quick as the vivid lightning smote the sword, and the head 
with its battered golden helmet leaped from his shoulders and 
fell, rolling and jumping, and spouting blood among the masses 
of released hair that flew with its circling like a veil about it- 
The giant body fell heavily, and the gushing blood rushed from 
the arteries in red rivers. 

Not a sound was heard. Curiosity, intense and terrific, over- 
came all other considerations, and now it would be for the 
mighty conqueror to disclose himself. So intense was the silence 
that it became oppressive, and several women fainted. Tekthah 
watched with a terrible light in his eyes, the veins swelling on 
his temples and his hair seeming to bristle as he looked on 
that tall warrior who had slain his first-born, the only pillar 
between himself and Shar-Jatal, whom he began to fear. 

With foot on his opponent's chest, the conqueror leaned on 
his red blade, as though enjoying the tension of the waiting 
hosts ; and, not sufiering himself to notice his wounded foot, 
repeated the long stare with which he had entered into their 
presence. To some it appeared to be menacing, to others 
arrogant, and all nearly cried out with the torment of waiting 
his disclosure. 

Slowly he loosened the visor, and, allowing his weapon to 
fall on his antagonist's corpse, with both hands he lifted the 
horned helmet. And now, as, according to the fashion of the 
Atlantean warriors, he had wrapped his mane and beard about 
his neck for an additional protection, these masses fell loose; 
and as he raised his face to the vast assemblages the light 
glinted redly on his tresses, and a shout that rent the skies and 
shook the earth arose, a roar of joy and relief and enthusiasm : 

"Huitza! Huitza! The '^od has returned!" 



122 



CAP. XV. 



THE CHILD OF DOOM. 



Coming in such manner the hero returned, supported by the 
love and strengthened enthusiasm of the people ; and without 
the walls lay his army, a great part of which, disguised, was 
among the crowding thousands in the Circus. 

Acoa blessed the prince with impassioned fervour, proclaiming 
him Champion ; and now indeed the fires in the mountains ceased, 
so that every one beheved the Tzantan to be a God in truth. 

The games and sacrifices were over and the crowds returned 
to their own lands and cities, confident that now their savage 
enemies would be swept from their frontiers and the land 
resume its proud status again under the general command of 
the popular warrior. There were many who declared that the 
Tzan should abdicate in his favour, for his supremacy had only 
been by the voice of the nation, enthusiastic over a warrior 
who had made the Empire and founded cities. Yet many again 
loved Tekthah for the sake of the old days ; and although the 
Chieftain had sunk into the luxurious and overbearing Emperor, 
he was still the grand old warrior who had made Atlantis what 
it was. 

In Tek-Ra Noah and his family rejoiced greatly that things 
were thus, for Huitza was a friend to Ham, who was held as 
hostage in Tekthah's palace. Yet would not the governor 
permit such outrageous doings in celebration as the people 
wished to indulge in, and they hated him and discussed a way 
to rid themselves of the entire family who forsook not the 
worship of Jehovah nor leaned to lewdness and unholy conduct. 
For as much as possible Noah prevented their evil doings, by 
which he raised against him a bitter annoyance. 

Now Tekthah was greatly disturbed at the success and popu- 

123 



ATLANTIS. 

larity of Huit/.a, for he believed him to be a plotter at the 
sovereign power, and disquieting rumours regarding many wishes 
for his abdication reached his ears. The jealonsy of his son 
and the wrath at his conquest over Rhadaman lingered with a 
bitter feeling; a vast annoyance that the daring warrior had 
had the audacity to present himself — a renegade — before a justly 
incensed sire, and in that presence to slay the firstborn of the 
Empire, which he believed to be the only bar to his rebel ambition. 

The old warrior began to perceive his position insecure to 
an excess, and a feeling of furious contempt for the nation and 
rage against this man seized him, the more so that he believed 
Azta to greatly favour him, for which also he hated her. 

Nor was Shar-Jatal less annoyed, for he believed this man 
would, with sovereign power, seize the hearts of the people so 
that any attempt to remove him would be dangerous. There- 
fore while Tekthah yet held power he pressed him for an 
answer concerning his post of power next to himself. And it 
came that Tekthah likewise looked to him as his tool, for l^e 
knew him to be unscrupulous, and ready to undertake any 
underhand work to his own advancement ; and notwithstanding 
that Huitza was his son first-born by the Tizin Atlace (as he 
believed), he hated and feared him, and preferred that Shar-Jatal 
should hold power before him. 

So to this bad man he confided his fears, reminding him that 
the Tzantan had many and influential friends ; the Tizin, Mehir, 
Mico, Acoa, some of his brothers, and many others, among 
whom was Ham ; which one, as concerned one of their larger 
cities, was very powerful in such a case. 

And to him Shar-Jatal propounded a plan, speaking in ques- 
tioning metaphor until he perceived that the Tzan fully understood 
the grave campaign ; when he placed before him a horrid scheme 
that should strike terror to the hearts of all who dare cross 
the path of Tekthah, and seat him more firmly on the threatened 
throne. 

Now to my Love had been born a little son, for whom she 
claimed the Tzan as sire, he being ignorant to a great degree 
of myself, nor imagining the love I had for Azta, and forgetting 
in the number of his mistresses that she never suffered him. 

124 



THE CHILD OF DOOM. 

Vet was this offspring of our love a wonder to both of us, 
being hermaphrodite and larger than ordinary babes, growing 
also prodigiously and of a strange beauty, giving promise of a 
brilliant career and raising fresh fears also in Tekthah's breast. 
For knowing (and fearing far more than he knew) of the Tizin's 
regards for Huitza, he dreaded him the sire, and greatly feared 
so powerful a combination. And in truth the child certainly 
bore a great resemblance to the Tzantan, having ruddy hair, 
which was an unusual thing; but Tekthah dared not openly 
interfere with the mother, knowing by many rumours of 
her strange powers. So to Shar-Jatal he intrusted all the 
carriage of the wishes of his heart; and the evil man, who 
had long wished in secret to possess so rare a beauty as 
the Tizin, vowed to also remove her and the child from the 
Imperial path. 

Therefore, in pleasing expectation Tekthah walked in his 
gardens, and I perceived how bloody a man he was and by 
what unscrupulous means he would secure his position. Through 
his expanded nostrils he inhaled the air in large draughts, and 
felt with pride the still vast muscles of his arms, the while he 
laughed in his throat and anon cursed Shar-Jatal in no measured 
terms, vowing to raise his own son Tala to the chief power. 
Which one hated the People's Representative, who was a rival 
to the affections of his half-sister Semaia, among many others. 

Azta, walking with her little child and old Na, perceived him 
in such mood and would have turned away, but the old lion 
motioned her to him. 

" Ha ! " he said in a great voice, " a brave whelp ! a worthy 
offspring of our union, O Love. After what style is he named?" 

" He is called Toltiah," said Azta, her curious and terrible 
eyes rivetted on her lord's with half a menace in them ; so that 
even in his present mood he felt uneasy. 

"Another strengthener to our hands, fair mistress; in these 
days of many rumours the Throne hath need of support ; what 
thinkest thou?" 

He tried to terrify her with his presence and bearing, and 
the pointedness of his remark ; but her expression faltered not. 

"Does Tekthah hearken to rumours?" she asked sneeringly. 

125 



ATLANTIS. 

"Keep thy tongue more governed, woman!" cried the Tzan, 
with roused ire, "else remember Fae 1 " 

She gave him one long scathing glance of deadly challenge 
and strode away with the child Toltiah and the old slave. To 
her arbour she went, where now I lay involved in a purple cluster 
of fruit, and reclined on her couch, playing with the plump 
creature as a tigress would play with her kitten, and decorating 
his hair with sartreel flowers with a vast weird pride. 

"How like thou art to him!'' she laughed, yet with a tone 
of savagery; "yet why is he returned, and to conquer thus? 
O heaven-born whelp, what will come to thee? Is thy path a 
long march of blood, my baby, to reign after me o'er all the 
Earth? Little one, little one, would it have been better hadst 
thou never been born at all?" 

Entranced with her beauty I appeared before her, and rising 
up, she held forth the child towards me, her eyes full of a 
great pride and joy. I took it in my arms and gazed with delight 
into its features that were framed with beautiful curls like untcr 
Azta's, its eyes being also like hers, while the large, full limbs 
gave promise of a great stature beyond the common. 

"Truly has our love been blessed," I said; and putting an 
arm round Azta, I drew her down beside me into the couch, 
seating the child on my knee. 

" How greatly I love thee, my Love 1 " I cried with joy, " and 
for thy love to me shall come power on earth. Before the 
child lies a great future, when he stands the King of men, leader 
of warriors and maker of Empires when Tekthah is dead ; and 
thou and I, Love, will ever live together and I will show thee 
more than ever thou dreamest of or ever could imagine. Yet, 
Azta, troubles will come, and woe is me that I love thee so 
well, for I fear greatly. Nay, gaze not so on me with those 
eyes of fire, for perchance my might can prevail ; and much 
have I been thinking of late, and great distances have I travelled, 
such as thou wouldst estimate. Leagues to the North, where 
lands are that thou knowest nought of; lands where the ever- 
lasting ice covers vegetation that once bloomed tropical before 
the hand of Jehovah turned the World of P^arth, pivotted on its 
axis, and covered the poles with Death; where the bones of 

126 



THE CHILD OF DOOM. 

unknown fearful animals are buried forgotten, the embryo forms 
of living creatures that lived before Man was." 

She lay on my breast and looked up at me in wonder, holding 
one of Toltiah's Httle hands in hers; and in the background 
old Na hovered uneasily, as she ever did when I was near, 
not comprehending my nature and the manner of my appearances. 

And my mind being troubled concerning the council between 
Tekthah and the People's Representative, I told to Azta all I 
had heard concerning her and the child; whereat she looked 
now troubled and now scornful by turns. For concerning 
herself she feared not, yet knew that Tekthah feared the child 
because of the mystery of his birth and the reason that she 
was his mother and bore no regard to himself. She resolved 
to send away the child Toltiah, but herself refused to shun the 
impending doom, yet why I did not guess, beHeving it to be 
but her recklessness. And distressed by such determination I 
unfolded to her the manner of arresting an assault by the 
power of volition appHed in opposition, that no mortal might 
lay a hand on her if she willed it not ; for already she possessed 
great power of her eyes. To this end I bade her look upon 
me, and gazed into her eyes so that her spirit came forth, and 
in an intense concentration of feeHngs showed her wonders 
that caused a cessation of carnal Hfe with a lightning increase 
of perception, seeing the new power rushing in her veins, 
potential and fearful. 

She gave a little laugh and stretched herself. "Now am I 
powerful indeed I " she cried arrogantly. 

" Nay, my dear Love, boast not thyself," I implored her : 
" I have not done well to show thee this thing, yet of my 
great love for thee I did it. But beware how thou usest thy 
power, for toleration is the art of God." 

And that night was a great feast proclaimed, and all the 
army within Zul was to be feted. But Azta, with all a mother's 
love, anxious for her baby, determined to send away Toltiah 
to Tek-Ra, and place him under the protection of Noah until 
such time as she should send for him, yet in sorrow, for she 
loved not such parting. Nevertheless she sent him with Na, 
and a strong escort under Nahuasco went with them, which one 

127 



ATLANTIS. 

was well entrusted of the Tizin, being chief of her guards. 
Him she gave many gifts to, and on his sword the warrior 
vowed to stay by the young prince and devote his life to him ; 
and also to deliver the message to the governor that this 
charge placed within his walls was born of Heaven and would 
one day become an avenger on the nation for their sins and 
again raise the altars of Jehovah. 

And such 1 also fondly dreamed, yet forgot that no good 
could be begotten of sin. And in after days Na returned to 
Azta with comforting assurances, for she could not live apart 
from her mistress whom she had nursed from her infancy. 



128 



CAP. XVI. 



THE FEAST OF DEATH. 



Immensely grand was the scene that night in the Hall of 
Feasting. How bright the flaring torches supplied the last light 
of Earth that so many eyes of the assembled nobles would 
ever see again! For on that night the bloody plan of Tekthah 
and Shar-Jatal would be consummated, but none save themselves 
and their ministers knew that it was as yet the appointed 
occasion; not I myself even. For myself, I was blinded to 
affairs of Earth that I would not undertake save for my own 
pleasure, and perceived nought unusual in such a proceeding. 

Below Azta reclined the one in whose honour the feast was 
given — the Tzantan Huitza, who, in full panoply of war, compelled 
the admiration of all eyes by his majestic figure and princely 
bearing. Yet among his brothers was not wanting jealousy, 
and I knew that Tekthah and ' Shar-Jatal hated him. And, 
although lost in contemplation of the coloured throngs and 
diverted by the subdued roar of conversation and music and 
the myriad odours of the flower-decked board, gradually over 
my mind spread a presentiment of impending doom, so strong 
and terrible that I nearly cried out for fear, yet could not, for 
my speech was taken from me. I noticed that many of Tekthah's 
mistresses and sons were absent, and I knew that I was to 
watch a fearful deed of sin that need not have been ; and to 
look upon a direful wrong of Earth that my vacillating policies 
permitted, unchecked by aught of Heaven ; and yet, ah God 1 
to write it ... . a great thrill of triumph ran through me at 
the thought of my great rival's death. But for an instant lasted 
that awful jubilation that branded me a murderer and brought 
such punishment, and then, with a wondrous horror I looked 
around over the torch-hghted scene, wild, barbaric, immense, and 

129 9 



ATLANTIS. 

noted sadly how the Tizin's eyes did feast themselves on the 
great man below her, yet with a weird unrest, and that Shar-Jatal 
ate with haste next to him. With a great perception I knew 
that I looked upon a feast where black Death sat by Tekthah 
with sword uplifted to fall, and in the dancing shadows I saw 
forms of horror that brooded over the company; and among 
them stood the dread Accuser. My soul cried on Acoa, trusting 
to him with a great longing to appear; and then in mute 
agony, abashed at my position, to Heaven. 

Yet all those mortals appeared happy and at ease, and I 
knew that in the market-place the troops were carousing. 
Mehir reclined in happy enjoyment of the plenteous fare, 
slashing with his sword a huge joint on which to regale him- 
self; Sada, talking earnestly to the abstracted Shar-Jatal, seemed 
absorbed but in him, on whom Semaia flashed evil glances : 
Amal, Colosse, Nezca, Mico — all looked indifferent. Yet me- 
thought the weird features of the sorceress Pocatepa were alive 
with interest, and her black eyes looked deviHshly to where, 
through the lurid mist behind the Tzan, gleamed arm and' 
buckler and flashing helm. 

The conversation grew louder, as was its wont, while the 
slaves distributed the contents of the immense bowls of wine 
round the board, drunken bursts of laughter and occasional 
shouts proclaiming the usual results of its progress. The red 
mist gathered in the roof until to me the hall seemed hung 
with a horrid cloud of human blood, and beneath swayed the 
coloured mantles with the gems and armour gleaming among 
them, like sparkles of light in a sea of autumn leaves through 
which peered white faces with their strange spiritual eyes. 

I felt as though but two people hved in full enjoyment of 
intellect to watch the throng— myself and Tekthah, looking as 
in a dream on the mass of living colour — and I glanced up to 
where the Tzan sat, grim, terrible and without movement, 
beneath the Solar crown of State. 

Suddenly he clapped his hands, and instantaneously with the 
sound a huge spear whizzed and buried itself in Huitza's broad 
back, coming with a rush of blood through his chest. 

With an agonized roar he staggered up ; and save but for a 

130 



THE FEAST OF DEATH. 

piercing scream from Azta a horrid silence fell, as with startled 
eyes all gazed at the stricken hero risen to his godlike height 
with the murderous weapon balanced through his body, his 
own spear in his hand. 

"Thou old traitor!" he gasped, turning on the sire; and 
raising his own mighty weapon hurled it towards the Tzan. 
But the bolt drave through a Captain of the guard who came 
toward him, and rolled him, spouting blood, on to Tekthah; 
while the hero sank in death at Azta's feet. 

Simultaneously with this attack Shar-Jatal had thought to do 
similarly with Mehir, but, whether warned by instinct or impelled 
by fate, the imagined victim rolled over in time to avoid the 
spear-thrust, that, dashed upon the floor, shattered the weapon 
at the binding of the metal and sent the shaft whizzing and 
spinning among the viands. 

The murderer uttered a curse and turned to fly, fearful of 
the wrath of the giant; but Mehir was too quick for him, and 
bounding to his feet with a shout, as cries and shrieks rent the 
air from all quarters, he caught the treacherous man by the 
knees and hurled him at an advancing rush of spearmen, who 
were swept off their feet by this tremendous missile. 

The hall was in instant uproar. The slaves cried out and 
shrieked with terror, the fan-bearers casting down their heavy 
fans and running in all directions, and those which bore the 
shields covering their bodies with them as they ran. At that 
moment the High Priest of Zul rushed in, dishevelled, with his 
long while locks streaming and his yellow robe flying around 
him like a cloud. He appeared to see nothing as he hastened 
through the shouting crowd, but pressed to where Huitza lay 
with his head on Azta's lap, and with a terrible cry, sank on 
his knees beside him. 

Screams of wild terror arose, and vengeful shouts, as through 
the heavy odorous atmosphere flew hurled joints and great 
amphoras, spears and human bodies, blood, bones, limbs, brains. 
From peace the scene had changed with terrible suddenness to 
war and murder ; and as warriors, fully armed and harnessed, 
rushed in from all sides, the torches were swept from their 
metal buckets either purposely or accidentally, and huge forms 

131 



ATLANTIS. 

plunged and wrestled in semi-gloom in lakes of wine and hot 
blood and heaps of smashed bowls and mingled viands. 

Piercing shrieks of women rose above the din, and the 
echoing roar of the lions, who were excited by the noise, added 
its thunder to the storm of sounds. By the light of one or two 
torches left burning, fearful scenes were enacted ; spears transfixed 
the swaying bodies, and great stone and metal axes crashed 
through skulls and smashed bones, witnessed in terrific pantomime 
through the awful twilight. As many as could find the exits, 
fled ; and many, lying down, pulled the dead or dying bodies 
of others over themselves, hoping so to obtain immunity from 
the sweeping butchers. 

Upon Azta, sitting terrified but calm, a huge slave rushed ; 
but with half the leg of an ox she felled him to the ground 
at her feet. Acoa, his head buried in his mantle, sat regardless 
of the terrors around him, as one himself dead, and to my 
mind came a great consolation at the thought of Toltiah being 
safe and far from this dreadful seat of sin. 

The sounds were atrocious, and a rush of combatants swept 
Azta and Acoa violently apart from one another and the corpse 
of Huitza. I took my Love by the hand, more clearly now 
perceiving what to do, and we went thence into the gardens, 
among a terrified collection of women and slaves, huddled 
together, most of them trembling and sobbing, their clothes gone 
and their bodies wounded. 

Some among these latter, however, unmoved by the murderous 
horrors of the past few moments, were abominable in their 
conduct : carrying off, as the darkness allowed, some among the 
women whom they had long in secret regarded, seizing their 
tender victims with violence and smothering their cries with 
their hands. And that nought should come of it afterwards, and 
having sufficiently satisfied their lust, they stabbed them to the 
heart, and carrying them into the dark hall left them, cast among 
the dead warriors ; first breaking their teeth to obtain their gems. 

So, among many others, perished Teta and Semaia : so would 
have died proud Azta but that I stood by her, and ofttimes 
warded off a death that hovered nigh. Yet her wild agony of 
grief smote bitterly on my soul with a message I would not 

132 



THE FEAST OF DEATH. 

hear, but that nevertheless poured burning adamant slowly into 
my heart with unowned pain and scathing. 

And now bright lights began to flare again, as the scattered 
torches seized with their flaming fat upon all inflammable things. 
In the hall men still fought, but the soldiery had silenced most 
of them overcome by wine, yet nevertheless the armour they 
wore, protecting them from many a ghastly wound, greatly 
prolonged the struggle. The thick, yellow smoke from fallen 
torches yet unextinguished, and the pungent smell of roasting 
flesh where human beings burned within their fur mantles, rose 
above the reek of blood. The sputtering crackle and explosive 
sounds of bursting skulls that the flames cracked, the sharp 
crick of the heated pots and bowls, the crackling of burning 
bones and sizzle of flames that came in contact with moisture 
rose sharp above the soft moans of dying men and women too 
terribly hurt to cry aloud. Yet now and then some wretch 
hidden beneath a pile of corpses, licked by fire, would rise from 
the scattering heap and rush for an exit, leaping and crying out. 

In a short time all human sounds ceased in the hall, for 
everyone there was dead ; and in pools of blood, among burning 
rugs and broken crockery and bones and weapons they lay, 
the corpses of nearly four hundred human beings ; and the lions, 
scenting the blood, roared all night long. All that could burn 
flared redly, and now that the need for light had gone the 
bright flames began to throw their tongues of fire over the 
scene of that carnival of Death. Running upwards upon a 
hanging curtain they laid hold upon the rafters of the roof, 
which fell crashing down and covered all with a dusty coverlet 
of charred wood, clay, and tiles. But by reason of its sudden 
fall, and being isolated, it caused no ignition to other roofs of 
the palace. 

It was a fitting floor-piece to the horrible paintings on the 
walls, now more horrible by reason of gory patches and smudges 
and the delineations being in places destroyed by Hnes of 
smoking soot and the purifying flames ; and all night long unclean 
dogs fought and fed and chased each other through the smoking 
dust, disturbed by the roar of the lions, and flung red splashes 
about. 

133 



ATLANTIS. 

The Tzan and Shar-Jatal and many other influential ones had 
bribed over a great part of the army to their side; and next 
morning a herald was sent to the legions in the Market-Place, 
yet heavy with great debauchery and surrounded by those bribed 
ones, and demanded of them a fresh oath of allegiance to 
Tekthah, new officers being appointed to them. For the old 
ones of any importanee had been especially marked for slaughter, 
and among these was Mico, the chief of the archers. And 
many also of the old officers who survived were, seen no more, 
being secretly put away. Vet the Imperial Guards, all young 
nobles, though serving under a captain, were in their hearts 
furious at the murder of many friends in that massacre; and 
many also, perceiving that Shar-Jatal recovered, hated him as 
representing in upstart guise the mass of the people, and being 
now appointed next in power to Tekthah. Likewise a vast 
feeling of insecurity was now engendered, for no one felt safe. 
Azta being removed to a great tower by the Representative's 
orders and there hidden, the rumour being spread that she was 
dead. Alone, with but old Na to comfort her, she remained in 
wild anguish, nor would permit me to approach her; so that 
my soul fainted within me at the thought that she believed me 
to be the murderer of her Love. 

There was a time of danger from the enraged population, who, 
shocked in their luxurious habits by the news of the massacre 
(that was felt all over the land), gathered in crowds and had to 
be dispersed by force of arms, and at times even the majestic 
presence of Tekthah could scarce calm them. By degrees the 
news spread to the farthest boundaries, and then a strong rumour 
gained ground that their great chief would appear again, and 
all Atlantis grew to believe in it and look for it. Which rumour 
Acoa instituted and spread with furious zeal, yet in secret; 
and I was bewildered at the mazes of results, of plot and 
counterplot, vaguely perceived, yet not understood. Also I 
became possessed of a sad apathy, a dull heavy sorrow that 
dragged down my spirit, and I could not leaVe Azta, yet longed 
in vain for herself to invite me to approach her. 

Tekthah was startled and appalled at the prophecy of his 
son's reappearance, which overcame his joy at the news of 

134 



THE FEAST OF DEATH. 

Azta's death and the death of Toltiah, for those detailed for 
this bloody deed dared not confess their errand unsuccessful. 
And to farther increase his uneasiness, the body of Ham, the 
son of Noah, could not be found, nor was any member of his 
family to be discovered ; for they had fled under cover of the 
murderous attack and had gone to Chuza with the evil tidings. 
Which, hearing, and knowing that now Huitza was dead the 
people, who hated him, would rise against him, Noah fled with 
speed, taking all his family and the boy Toltiah ; and no man 
knew whither he had gone. 

And now Tekthah became furious and apathetic by turns, so 
that none cared to approach him, and lands of dead nobles and 
princes were suffered to remain with no master but the tribe- 
leaders. And in such wise had he believed he could make 
himself safe and unmenaced, and deal out a dire lesson to all 
who might cross his will and power ; yet in place of living 
enemies arose armies of larvai and horrid Dreams, and those 
days of Tekthah were terrible. 



135 



CAP. XVIL 

THE PASSING OF TEKTHAH. 

The days passed slowly and in sorrow. Superstitious and 
impulsive, Tekthah had repented bitterly of his fury, and now 
like a living presence the shade of Huitza stood above his 
mind and he appeared to believe more than anyone else in the 
legend of his reappearance; for he feared the power of Azta 
even in death. 

But to me was the greater sadness, for a horror I could 
scarcely explain lay on my soul, the knowledge that I was 
voluntarily giving up all for what I nearly perceived to be a * 
shadow, yet dared not dream of such. And in sad perplexity 
and sorrow I did but hover near my Love, to whom the 
Tzantan Shar-Jatal, madly desirous of possessing her, went at 
times and importuned, using all his courtly arts to that end. 
1 le prostrated him before her, threatened, prayed, but all in 
vain. To the same argument as dead Rhadaman's — "Thou 
shalt be Queen of Atlantis when I am Emperor " — she had 
answered, "Thou wilt never be the Tzan." And when, maddened 
by her taunts, he had rushed on her, she smote him by my 
arts so that he staggered back and lost all his courage. 

And so she lived quietly with old Na to wait upon her, and 
grieved sadly ; yet would make no attempt to escape because 
she would thereby lose all chance of power that was very dear 
to her, and the wild hope of vengeance. 

And then I looked upon another phase. It was night on 
Atlantis, a dark, troubled night, where voices seemed to cry in 
the air and spirits floated like horrid larvai in the atmosphere. 
Clouds were over the face of all the sky, and the long, flamy 
streamers waved like fanciful human figures from high temples, 
flung by the wind. The moan of the sea rose unceasing as 

136 



THE PASSING OF TEKTHAH. 

long billows dashed in masses of foam up the yellow beach, 
and the wind howled in the trees and shrieked with fearful 
sounds through the ghostly sartreels and swinging vines. 

In the palace all was still save but for the sound of the wind 
that fluttered the coloured hangings in the entrances, scaring 
prowling dogs that had escaped the sentries' notice ; which ones 
walked fearfully, terrified by rumours of horrid appearances 
within those walls where lay the Hall of Feasting in disorder 
and darkness, uncovered to Heaven. Therein appeared to brood 
the spirits of dead warriors and murdered women, and broad 
splashes of blood on the walls remained to speak of violence 
and treachery that hurried victims to hasty death, and burial 
scant of rites or decency. None dared feast there now, nor, 
unaccompanied, pass through it. Time would never cover 
those memories. 

The palace was full of soldiers, and in the gardens the 
legions thronged, secretly gathered by command of Shar-Jatal 
and officers who were his myrmidons, great men and very 
influential. All were silent and stern, casting glances around 
as huge moths flew by or the high wind rolled the tapestry 
in bellying shapes. There was much trouble in those days, 
with promise of more to come; and as I flew, disguised in 
the shape of a moth, I wondered where it would all cease. 
Besides disquieting rumours concerning savage tribes, dangerous 
by reason of many of their leaders being of the Last-created 
race by intermarriage or the result of raids, there was the 
unrest of their own peoples; and such cities as had been 
relieved of a tyrannical lord slain in Tekthah's horrid massacre 
seemed to resent the idea of another being appointed, 
the governors of such cities secretly encouraging the feeling 
for their own advantage. And especially Talascan grew 
averse to such, and being a very powerful city, caused much 
uneasiness to those who considered upon it. Indeed, I perceived 
that now Tekthah had lost his high authority the whole land 
was falling to pieces in its evil, and all that was in danger of 
falling before now broke ofl* and divided up into many factions. 
The chance I had neglected to take was gone with Huitza, and 
I looked in fear on a land of unchecked passions guided by a 

^Z7 



ATLANTIS. 

thousand rulers whose authority was measured by their power 
of evil. 

And I perceived that Shar-Jatal was not displeased at Noah's 
flight, for he had ever been a menace to such as worked evil, 
and under the power of Huitza would have risen in great might ; 
and so it puzzled me that Huitza had not therefore by the 
grace of Heaven come to power without my aid. But I knew 
not the human heart, neither indeed could it well be known, 
and therefore I misunderstood and worked out vain imaginings. 
And concerning Shar-Jatal's fear of Noah, it was spread abroad 
that the patriarch had worshipped demons, for outside the walls 
of Tek-Ra lay a great machine, complete to what extent they 
did not know, with vast beams and cross-beams, bound with 
ropes of twisted gut. On which, when he was gone, the people 
had cast curious eyes, marvelling at its quaint construction. 
One man, more venturesome than his fellows, climbed into the 
end of the greatest beam, while six others, sweating at cross- 
bars secured in a rope twisting beneath their efforts, pulled the 
beam, with him on that end, downward, until it bent from its 
opposite fastenings like a great bow. And that end, where they 
were, giving way, the cross-bars were flung all apart, cracking 
skulls and backbones and flinging mangled bodies about, while 
the great beam shot up with a tremendous recoil, and, striking 
a cross-beam with a concussion that sent it hurtling among the 
jieople, hurled the wretched man upon its end with tremendous 
velocity nearly across the river upon whose banks it stood, 
killing him thereby. This was the Catapult, but as yet not 
recognised. 

Thinking upon such things, I watched, and in the dark night 
heard the voices of Shades that cried out. How the Sun-spirits 
were fighting with the demons! Acoa on Zul's highest tower 
stood there with his Divinity, his body undulating and quivering 
like the column of flame before which he stood, his eyes flashing 
with mad excitement as the bright Thing swayed and leaned 
far out before impetuous winds, appearing as though about to 
leap from its pedestal and fly. 

The Tzantan Ju, Chief of the Navy, was on shore to-night, 
against whom Shar-Jatal cherished hate and sought an evil 

138 



THE PASSING OF TEKTHAH. 

pretext to destroy him, on account of his being the lawful 
husband of Pocatepa. He held beneath his command the crews 
of the Tacoatlanta and Mexteo, who were ordered to remain 
by their ships in the harbour. These men were more supersti- 
tious and fearful than all the rest, and wondered if any monsters, 
born of the storm, would terrify them with their huge bulks 
when they embarked again. They invoked the Spirits of Waves, 
whose white figures they saw of a night vanishing in smoke 
and spray before the wind, and the goddesses with the fishes' 
tails. 

The archers, now under Arioch, Mico being dead, were in 
the gardens, and beneath the shade of one of the man-headed 
lions stood Shar-Jatal and Izta cohversing earnestly, with their 
cloaks wrapped closely around them, Izta's of red, his leader's 
of the purple of the Imperial household to which he now 
aspired. 

Over beyond the trees waved Zul's columnar flame, and by 
the fitful light of it they could petceive the High Priest. Then 
the howling wind ceased for an instant and a weird stillness 
settled down over all, causing an unknown terror, as above the 
palace the black sky opened and a Figure fell from it. Wan, 
nebulous, vast and grizzly, it moved through the air, and as, 
in the semblance of a human form, it sped across the great red 
building a sword of Hghtning flashed from the outstretched hand 
and the vision passed in the portentious majesty of WAEF, the 
Accuser. 

The chiefs, staring at Zul, started as the blaze of light fell 
on their dazzled eyes, and I perceived them to be talking 
earnestly, nor had I unmoved seen that wondrous sight, which 
was observed in different quarters of the city and over all the 
land, causing much great terror. 

Now these two evil men ceased their .consultation, and orders 
were passed round to Tzantans and Polemarchs and sub-chiefs. 
Certain movements were undertaken by the troops, and the 
slingers and spearmen came up and lay round the palace, alert 
and ready for aught. 

The Imperial Guards were within the buildings, and all of 
them were newly chosen by Tekthah for fidelity to himself, 

J39 



ATLANTIS. 

being sons or favourites, and I perceived it was for their 
suppression that this great gathering was assembled. 

There commenced a silent entry by many, and there was in 
the dark, disappearing figures a dire suggestion of horrid deeds 
that made me tremble. How terribly I perceived myself to be 
involved in all Earth's evil! Powerless to stem, unable to flee 
from it, I groaned. All sounds of human presences were hushed, 
and at times when the moon appeared (to be almost instantly 
hidden again), the vast dark fagade of the palace seemed to 
give a deserted appearance to all around as it rose majestic 
and immobile among the swaying trees, with its great stone 
statues looking like mammoths in the faint Hght. 

As in bewildered unrest I entered the building, suddenly the 
lions roared. The Hall of the Throne of Atlantis leaped into 
light as fires flared from torch and brazier all around, swiftly 
ignited by the twtrling-sticks turned by a bow that all used to 
produce flames. Then all was silent again, save but the moan 
of the wind and the murmur of the great cat-like beasts that- 
blinked their gleaming eyes and sighed, nor noted with any 
demonstrations half a score of warriors who stood on the platform 
below the throne, under the golden Sun that flashed back the 
red lights from the braziers in splendour on the marbles. These 
stood mute in the lurid glow of the torches that sent black 
shadows and bright wavering lights flitting over the floor as 
gusts of wind rushed through and swayed their flames. They 
were waiting for their leader to appear with red hands and 
reeking weapon, and in the silence they listened and started at 
every noise caused by the tempest. 

A sound — another — rather felt or imagined than heard — a clash 
of arms — a formidable shout, "Ho, Guards!" — and the black 
group by the throne buried their faces in their large mantles 
and each man raised one hand entreatingly to the golden Sun as 
the lions at the doors leaped to their feet and thundered in wrath. 

There was a rapid rush of feet, heavy breathings and sounds 
of sickening blows, the more horrid for being unseen, and as 
the warriors looked up, dismayed, a giant form rushed towards 
them between the lions, leaping towards the throne with great 
bounds, closely followed by other forms. 

140 



THE PASSING OF TEKTHAH. 

The light flared on the streaming white hairs and the awful 
front of Tekthah, horribly encrimsoned ; who, scattering the 
terrified warriors, mounted the steps and fell at the foot of the 
throne, where he perceived me, seated as a great moth, with 
a grievous look of terror and despair, for I was the Divinity 
of Azta. 

But rising with a curse, he smote at me with his sword and 
then turned to face his ferocious pursuers like a lion at bay, 
looking eagerly to where he could hear the clash of arms and 
the shouts of the Guards without. In a few moments these 
ceased and men began to pour into the hall, while a bitter 
groan fell from the Tzan on perceiving such conduct. The lions 
roared aloud, and as though the sound were a war-cry of 
encouragement to himself the old warrior raised his towering 
form proudly and glowered over the crowd, that began to move 
uneasily ; but the blood that fell from gaps in his head and 
trickled through his teeth to the platform told how sorely he 
had been wounded. His vast chest heaved convulsively: fury, 
indignation, reproachful scorn and challenge flashed from his 
glazing eye. His hand still held his mighty sword, crimson 
from hilt to point; and a dreadful sight was that godlike man, 
more grand in his robe of blood than ever in golden armour, 
a king and a warrior to the last. 

Awestruck stood the silent traitrous crowd, appalled by what 
their word had caused, shrinking before the silent majesty that 
seemed to breathe a curse from Heaven on them. 

Shar-Jatal, white with terror and frantic with his baffled success, 
yet perceived with quick diplomacy the spreading emotion, and 
greatly feared lest triumph should be turned into disgust in its 
infancy. So he raised his sword and leaped up the steps with 
a shout, whirling the mighty blade in circles round his head. 
An echoing shout answered, a roar of encouragement from 
those evil ones who now wished to see such horror ended, and 
fearing what would befall should Tekthah live. 

The old warrior felt the hand of death on his heart, and 
perceiving he could not cope with this unwounded antagonist, 
he heaved up his great sword in noble wrath and hurled it 
towards him, crying out that he loved not to fight with a 

141 



ATLANTIS. 

woman ; and Shar-Jatal, raising hand and blade to save himself, 
so turned the whirling bolt that it smote off his left hand, which 
fell with a spatter of blood; while the avenging sword trans- 
fixed a guard's helmet and fell with it clashing to the floor. 

The maimed chief, with a great oath, swept off the head 
that sank in death before him, which, spinning and bounding, 
fell down the steps, the horrified warriors scattering before its 
progress. 

Shar-Jatal raised his sword. In the silence that should have 
been broken by shouts of victory a loud clang was heard, as 
something that resembled a gleaming meteor fell from the ceiling. 

It was the golden Sun, and a long, dismayed, shuddering 
sound broke from the vast assemblage now gathered, as its 
clanging circle hid the throne from sight, and the lions con- 
tinued the reverberations with a prolonged thundrous moan. 

There were many who attempted to raise it, but it resisted 
all their strength, and therefore the murderer, reckless with 
pain and annoyance, commanded them to set him upon th^ 
sacred symbol ; and being raised by them, seated himself upon 
one of the wavy rays, lifting his blade in signal of triumph. 

Yet but an angry silence ensued. Even to me it seemed 
a pitiful spectacle, more partaking of sacrilegious bufibonery 
than aught of majesty, and stood in chilling contrast to the 
sublime scene of the dying old hero facing their thousands so 
unflinchingly; and when, raised on the point of a sateUite's 
spear to him, he held aloft the grand grim head of the man 
who had made their nation what it was, no sycophants' shouts 
could drown the long, menacing hiss that broke forth almost 
involuntarily, and spread over all the crowd, signifying the 
wrath of the Divinity of Zul. 

And thus died Tekthah, Tzan of Atlantis. 



142 



CAP. XVIII. 



THE HALT OF TRIUMPH. 



The land heard the news of Tekthah's death with mingled 
feelings of dismay, sorrow and hope. Shar-Jatal, as the Repre- 
sentative of the nation, was expected to do many things, but 
none could define their wishes. 

In the Hall of the Throne, beneath the restored Sun and. 
surrounded by his warriors, the new Tzan had been consecrated 
by Acoa as King of the Earth, the Solar helmet of State being 
placed upon his head and the orbed sceptre handed to him by 
the Keeper of the Throne ; while, preparations being made for 
the same ceremony to be performed on the highest platform of 
the temple of Zul, the people were summoned from all over the 
land to attend and swear allegiance, by messengers sent by the 
High Priest. 

Yet these messengers returned not, neither did others who 
were sent after them, being especially instructed by Acoa. For 
these preached the return of Huitza and exhorted the nation to 
stand from Zul, which was accursed of the gods, and warning 
them against the new Tzan who would vex the land. And 
thus from all the provinces came the murmur of rebellion, 
causing no small uneasiness, particularly as concerned the very 
strong city of Talascan in Atala, which lay upon the river 
Hilen and could prevent any access if the warriors of Astra on 
the one hand by the coast, and those of Axatlan, upon the other, 
were agreed in aiding them, which it seemed they were. 

Dismayed and furious, the half-crowned chieftain called a 
council of war, and from the throne gazed over as goodly an 
assemblage as ever met a leader's eye, for there were all the 
Princes and Tzantans of Zul and the great men of the city. 
And also were most of the Imperial Guards attendant on him, 



ATLANTIS. 

•for such as would swear allegiance he very gladly took, yet 
several were secretly done away with, among whom were Taia, 
and Dodanim a son of Huitza, and many of the privy officers 
of Tekthah's household. 

Stern and grim they sat, those giant warriors, formidable beings 
of irresistible prowess, their large, sullen eyes gazing steadily 
around. On the first platform next to the throne sat Acoa, 
which was much trusted of Shar-Jatal, and Izta, to whom was 
given a winged helm and the title of Chief of Armies, being 
also Lord of Astra aforetimes. 

Without being as superstitious as Tekthah (which one was 
consumed in the crater of Zul by night to cause no commotion, 
and his ashes swept into the pit), Shar-Jatal nevertheless was 
afraid of many things. The falling of the golden Sun ; the 
rumours of the passage of the nebulous Form across the palace, 
and the return of Huitza, beloved of the gods ; the disaffection 
of Azco, Governor of Trocoatla and a son of Sumar, whom he 
nevertheless counted on, besides the uneasy feeling that he 
himself was unsafe, — all these things made him fear; and the' 
loss of his hand was very grievous to him. But most he feared 
that rumour as to Huitza, believing it and thinking that it would 
corrupt all hearts from himself. 

To avert this he promised from the throne great concessions 
to all of Zul, stirring them up in hatred against the cities, and 
particularly those of Atala and of Tek-Ra, whose governor, being 
fled, he declared to be the maker of the mischief, being straight- 
laced and foolish and no believer in the gods. To Izta was 
given the rich province of Atala, and other cities to other nobles, 
and to all was granted some consideration or higher position, 
military or civil. Yet must the land be brought under subjection, 
and in this the treacherous chief perceived a favourable oppor- 
tunity for ridding himself farther of obnoxious ones, particularly 
Ju, the lord of Pocatepa. 

I perceived the chiefs to be well pleased by the generosity 
of the new Tzan and not unwilling for war. And farther divisions 
were made of the establishments of many dead nobles, some of 
great worth; all their lands, women, slaves and riches. All 
the temples received munificent gifts, their priests being pliable, — 

144 



THE HALT OF TRIOMPH. 

among them Mah, who held Pocatepa in his power and might 
now scheme afresh; and to every man in Zul was given this 
or that. 

The rebellion of the cities caused great trouble to many, 
their resources being in danger by reason of it; yet the people 
of Zul could not be taxed as yet, which was an additional reason 
for war, so that the rich cities might by sacked. Yet it was a 
serious matter that those of Zul, although the greatest of the 
land, should have to cope with the thousands of Atlantis, and 
there were held many anxious consultations, and much time 
passed. 

But the new ruler wished also another thing, which was to 
subjugate proud Azta to his will, and my resentment against 
him waxed great on account of this. On those days of blank 
horror I yet look with pain ; for, amazed and terrified, I hovered 
in a darkness between my great passion for one who loved me 
not, and my rebellious feehngs against Heaven. In a maze of 
Earthly complications I stood, not understanding, and wondering 
whether to aid the visionary Acoa in obtaining power, or the stern, 
realistic Mah; and through them right myself on the path from 
which I had wickedly strayed, still yearning for good. 

Shar-Jatal, being so determined as I have said, betook him 
to the apartments of the Tizin, yet not altogether easy in his 
mind, remembering her power. Her he perceived, reclining on 
a settee, with the nurse Na at her feet, wrapped in deep thought. 
Great passions had made her more pale than usual ; the insult 
of imprisonment, the conflicting wishes to escape and go to 
Toltiah, or to stay and scheme for power, the sorrow for Huitza's 
death and her regards for myself. She gazed on the chief with 
a thought in her strange orbs, and I perceived he liked it not; 
nevertheless he advanced, hiding his left arm beneath his purple 
cloak, a demoniacal smile wreathing his lips. 

" I kneel to thee, fair Azta," he said, with feigned admiration 
that indeed he felt in a great measure, bowing with courtly 
grace as he fell on his knee. 

She returned his salutation with icy condescension. 

" Shall the fairest woman of Earth be content to remain hidden 
and alone when half the throne of Atlantis will be proud to 

145 10 



ATLANTIS. 

hail her mistress?" asked the chief; and again as in a dream 
I saw dead Rhadaman with the same question on his lips, and 
saw the same struggle in Azta's face, but with blunted feelings. 

But her furious resentment against this one overcame all 
other feelings. 

"Begone, false flatterer!" she cried in a fine passion; "what 
arc thy promises ! Have I not known thee aforetimes and seen 
thy smooth tongue lure victims to death ^ Upstart slave in the 
purple of thy master, har, murderer^ — go!" 

Old Na glanced at her fearfully as she half arose in her 
wrath ; and I, pleased with the boldness of her who was my 
Love and all my hope — alas, to say thus! — came as a bright 
wondrous fly into the room and hovered above her, so that 
she looked up and smiled, yet sadly. 

As one who has been smitten the Tzan stared, with parted 
lips, kneeling and petrified. His left arm fell involuntarily from 
beneath his cloak, disclosing the under robe of yellow sown 
with gems and golden symbols. The lady's eyes perceived the , 
mutilation and a great sneer curled her lip. 

It recovered the astounded man, and with a dreadful oath 
he leaped up and laid his hand on his sword-hilt. 

"Art coward as well as murderer?" asked Azta, scornfully, 
glancing on the trembling Na, and outstretching her hand 
towards him so that as in obedience he stood still. 

"Thou wouldst deride me, the Tzan?" he growled in fury. 

"The Tzan! How did the wolf kill the lion?" she retorted. 

"There were two lions, and the stronger triumphed!" 

"Never were there two lions after the Lord Huitza died! 
and now the wolves have pulled down the old lion and the 
biggest wears the suffocating skin. Fly from my insulted 
presence, thou upstart slave!" 

1 wondered at her words, believing she must have some 
strong scheme by which she could accomplish all she wished 
without this man's aid. But rendered mad by her biting taunts, 
he drew his sword and heaved it up to smite her. 

She sprang to her feet with a cry, and before her as a 
tower of flame I stood. The weapon, blasted to the hilt, 
droi)ped from his hand, and in a swoon the Tzan fell to the 

146 



THE Malt of triumpm. 

floor with a great crash. Old Na covered her face and also 
fell down straightway, nor dared look up, so that none per- 
ceived by what means I conveyed my Love away. 

Yet it was so that when Shar-Jatal rose up he searched every 
niche and corner for the Tizin and made strict enquiries of 
the guards concerning her, but to no purpose. 

Azta was gone. 



147 



LIBER II 

AND GOD -LOOKED UPON 
THE EARTH AND BEHOLD 
IT-WAS CORRUPT FOR 
ALL-FLESH-HAD-COR- 
RUPTED- HIS- WAY- UPON 
THE EARTH - 

GEN VI 12 




CAP. I. 



PREPARATIONS. 



OE, Earth, for all thy 
rebellion and foolish- 
ness, for the trouble 
of to-day to ensure 
a result that recoils 
on thy head in ruins 
or eludes thy grasp 1 
Builder of towers, 
where are all thy 
mighty works now, 
and who knows thy 
sons' names ? Men of 
unsurpassed great- 
ness were they, of 
godlike presence and 
terrible power, but 
they are gone and none know ot them or of manner of their 
passing. Only God lives on forever as at the beginning, perfect 
and deathless Life and Love, awful in unswerving evolution, 
passing onward through the centuries and long ages, sublime, 
remorseless. 

Thee would I contemplate in wondering awe, almighty and 
mysterious, and feel with thrilling terror thy presence in all 
atoms, of brightest deeps of immense space or darkest centres 
of Worlds ; feel thy vast Life in the subtle air and flame and 
the core of adamantine rocks Thine eve watches from leaf 



151 



ATLANTIS. 

and stone and star, Thy voice speaks in all sounds, and I— fallen, 

fallen !— tremble for ever in Thy constant and unavoidable prftsence. 

Thee would I contemplate when soft night throws her gemmy 







WEEP WITH WONDERING ANGUISH THAT EARTH CAN ATTRACT A SOUL BY ONE BEWILDERING ATOM. 



veil high over the Earth, and hear in the cool depths, unhindered 
by details, the music of Thy Life that never sleeps, and weep 
with wondering anguish that Earth can attract a soul by one 
bewildering atom. 

152 



PREPARATIONS. 

Yet is sorrow and remorse unceasing, and for ever and ever 
might we fitly bewail our sins ; but thereby we should not 
profit others, for each soul stands alone in its blindness and 
will not see. And my Love, for whom I gave up all, could 
not perceive until the Earth had passed and left the spirit 
free ; and I know not if my state would have been different 
if she had. O Aztal 

There were long seasons that passed, and many who prepared 
themselves in them for calculated results ; for after one great 
blow had been struck there would not be left to the vanquished 
aught but surrender. And thus they of Zul, and especially many 
princes who wished to supplant Shar-Jatal, yet being fearful of 
one another, spent many months in great works of war, manu- 
facturing engines to batter in walls, and a great number of kites 
wherewith to carry up injurious things to drop over the enemy. 
Enormous quantities of all manner of arms were made, of swords, 
spears, bows and arrows, bucklers and helmets. And as 
particularly Talascan was wished to be seized, the warships 
Tacoatlanta, Mexteo and others were looked to, and more built ; 
for the city was most pregnable from the river front on the 
Hilen river, and was a most strong centre for warlike operations. 
The idols were greatly propitiated to grant success, the fish-god 
by the waterway, which held in its hands the model of the 
Tacoatlanta, being much entreated of all seamen. Acoa advised 
long and careful preparations, and greatly hindered many things 
by omens and feigned messages from the gods; also causing 
an irksome taxation to be put on the people, so that, in spite 
of the need, Shar-Jatal became unpopular. 

Now Noah had fled with his family afar from Tek-Ra to the 
mountains beyond Talascan, and hid himself so that none ever 
chanced on him ; to where also I conveyed Azta. And there 
was with them Nahuasco with his guards and the child Toltiah, 
which one rapidly increased in stature and beauty and loved 
the practice of arms, being held in some awe by reasons of 
his strange monstrosity and the swiftness of his growth, having 
a voice that was of a mighty volume yet as musical as a 
woman's, and combining also a giant's strength and rudeness 
of arrogance with a feminine grace and persuasiveness that 

153 



ATLANTIS. 

caused him to be beloved and feared after an unearthly fashion. 
To the woman Susi, who was as a mother to him, he bore a 
great regard, and Azta loved the fair woman for her kindness 
to him, and wept over the boy and ever gazed rapturously upon 
him. Which thing was a great sorrow to me, for he was 
wondrous like to Huitza; yet to my Love I did not show the 
sorrow in my heart. But oft I looked upon the fair Susi, and 
envied her lord the possession of such an one! Why was not 
my Love as this? And yet I too clearly perceived that it 
was not through her that I suffered, but through my own 
headstrong wantonness. 

To Talascan occasionally went messengers from Noah, 
to strengthen the report that Huitza should return, and to 
perceive how the feelings of the people ran. And there 
was much information known respecting the great prepara- 
tions of Zul for the subjugation of the land, so that all 
feared exceedingly ; nevertheless the cities had agreed to 
fight for freedom and to aid one another, and the smallet 
cities and villages had been deserted, their inhabitants aiding 
to swell the fighting strength of the larger ones. Yet 
what would have come had there been separate governments 
granted to them then I know not, save much dissension, 
and Zul would have ever boasted herself ruler of all, and 
become paramount by sin and by all the great ones flocking 
thither. 

Now concerning Talascan, the city lay on the farther bank 
of the Hilen river from Zul, and behind rose the peaks of a 
great volcanic range of mountains, trending to the west, then 
south-west and south. Their lower hills at intervals lay on 
the river banks, enclosing level tracts of land covered with 
mighty trees, the territories of Atala and Axatlan. Through a 
natural valley in the highlands of Astra, whose northern boun- 
dary was thus terminated by it, the Hilen flowed into the sea 
with a swift current, a great span in width at its mouth, between 
two tall cliffs called the Gates of Talascan, and inland its 
tributaries watered a great tract of country. Axatlan lay 
farther to the west than Atala, and held the burning mountain 
that so affrighted the people, where the great serpent Nake was 

154 



PREPARATIONS. 



believed to keep watch over mines of gems and quarries of red 
stone which were of the Lord Nezca. oi, 




WHERE THE GREAT SERPENT KEPT WATCH OVER MINES OF GEMS. 

K Mr. A. W. Buckland in his "^Anthropological Studies" gives most curious and 
interesting information concerning serpents and their worship. There must, as in 
other curious things, be something to give rise to the legends concerning the 
mystic creature, when we notice the strange persistency with which he and the gods, 
of whom he is the emblem, are associated with agriculture, wealth, power, honor. 



ATLANTIS. 

Under the shadows of the mountains, surrounded by forests, 
streams and meadows and with the great river surrounding it 
on three sides, Talascan was a beautiful and healthy city, raising 
its walls and towers and columns from a sea of verdure. 

Chanoc was the Governor of Atala, who also loved Huitza 
greatly and believed that he would appear as the rumours said. 
For the prince had gone to Talascan secretly and declared that 
he would free them from the bondage of Rhadaman when that 
he had captured Zul for himself. He commanded them to spread 
no rumour of his presence there and to disclaim all knowledge 
of it; and many of their warriors went with his legions. He 
also promised to give the Talascans freedom on condition that 
they would always help him if required ; for he perceived the 
natural strength of the place and how it could be stoutly defended, 
having, as it were, the river for a wall; the which could only 
be forded by an army many miles up above the city, being 
too mountainous below for such. The Talascans, who were 
hardy and brave, would aid him greatly; and thus, exacting *- 
solemn oath from Chanoc and the great chiefs of the city that 
they would ever be faithful to him, he had gone forth ; and the 
next news they heard of him, which thing many also perceived 
with their own eyes, was that he had returned to Zul and had 
slain the Lord Rhadaman in single combat. 

The people were in high spirits, but the following news of 
Huitza's death damped them. But Chanoc was ambitious and 
stirred up the people to resistance, sending a secret invitation 
for all who had loved the prince and wished for freedom to 
come to them. 

Still they feared the wrath of Tekthah, yet were they not 

gold and gems; and as Mr. ]?uckland says, the deeper we delve into this mysterious 
past, the more numerous and important do these serpent legends become, bringing 
to our view whole tribes who were supposed to be half serpents — kings and 
heroes of semi-serpentine descent, and gods either serpentine in form, or bearing 
the serpent as a sacred symbol; and it is a strange fact that all these gods and men 
thus singularly connected with the serpent have ahcays some inexplicable relation 
to precious stones, the precious metals, the dawn of science and of agriculture. 

Hut this state of serpent-religion would ap])ear to have developed later, among 
mythic histories of the Deluge and the legendary demi-gods. and a point might 
well be argued as to the connection of serpent with seraph. 

156 



PREPARATIONS. 

also a great community ? There were many mighty men there, 
for Rhadaman, after the dreadful raid spoken of by Noah to 
avenge resistance to his tax-collectors, had made great conces- 
sions to induce many to go there. For from Atala came the 
beautiful scented woods, colouring woods and earths, great quan- 
tities of gold and very handsome women, and much fish from 
the river. Yet many feared another raid, remembering the day 
when the legions of Rhadaman made a furious onslaught; when 
the huge bulk of the Tacoatlanta, crashing through their little 
fleets up to the landing-stage, disgorged its freight of fierce 
warriors, and their streets ran red with blood. That day the 
war-ship lay in a red harbour, and only night put a stop to the 
fratricidal carnage. 

Then came a rumour that Huitza would return again in the 
flesh, and after, that Tekthah was dead and Shar-Jatal reigned 
in Zul. So that every one was glad, by reason of the usurper's, 
popularity. Yet messengers arrived from the great High Priest 
Acoa, commanding them to resist such an accession, saying 
that Shar-Jatal was accursed of Zul in that he had murdered 
the Tzan, and exhorting all to unite against him and wait for 
Huitza to appear. Whereupon was much bewilderment, and 
the messengers remained, as also did others ; and then arrived 
the news that Izta had been created Lord of Atala. Now Izta's 
reputation was an evil one, and, Tekthah dead, (whom all feared 
yet reverenced,) it was determined that the greater cities should 
remain free, offering to shelter and protect the inhabitants of 
the smaller ones. 

How greatly was I bewildered with it all! For Nezca sent 
by stealth to Axatlan, bidding his people defend the river and 
he would make to them great concessions, and Azco stirred 
up the new Tzan's own land of Trocoatla to resistance. All 
the country rose in wrath against the Representative, who was 
as one of themselves and had dared to do this thing, yet feared 
the reports of the preparations being made against them. 

All was forgotten save war, and evil enjoyment while yet 
there was time for such ; but long times passed and nothing 
happened, only went on manufactures of weapons and of all 
sorts of arms, and all manner of foul preparations were placed 

157 



ATLANTIS. 

in bowls on the walls to hurl upon the besiegers when they 
came. Some cities surrounded themselves with moats filled 
with water, one beyond another, others with barricades of com- 
bustibles that could be fired by flaming arrows from the walls, 
while nomad tribes were loaded with gifts to harry the enemy 
when he appeared and give timely warning of such appearance. 

Chanoc barricaded the river front and constructed in the 
Hilen below the city a vast boom to prevent the warships 
coming up, and the rows of idols on the walls were entreated 
to prevent mishap, for all cities had these hideous creations 
along the fortifications. 

All these things I saw, and wondered which should conquer 
in the end ; and in these years Azta's love for Toltiah grew 
and increased with his growth, and I knew that it was spoken 
that he should be Lord of Atlantis. Me she suffered as much 
as I would, yet I knew in her heart she loved me not, and 
ofttimes I wished that I had never seen her; while her nature, 
exasperated by conditions that caused me to despair in silence^ 
grew violent and outrageous. But her beauty chained me with 
the chains of Hell and I could not depart from her now; 
knowing that I never should had she loved me, and only would 
do so because her heart was turned from me. I had sinned 
deeply and could but wait events ; which indeed were interest- 
ing while they lasted, for none know all the Future save God alone. 

And Toltiah grew more fond than was seemly of strong drink 
and was also enamoured of the smoking-herb. By reason of 
my virtue he had great knowledge of hidden things, pondering 
deeply over all the instruction of Noah. And many things 
such as should not be known he imagined, and was much exer- 
cised in his mind concerning them ; searching into such that 
concerned life and death, yet not with reverence, but with 
curiosity. He grew tall and strong and greatly excelled in the 
use of arms, being instructed by Nahuasco therein; while the 
sons of Noah taught him many things in hunting and arts, so 
that he became greatly accomplished, and far more than they, 
becoming also taller than Ham, which was the tallest of them, 
at the appointed time that was spoken. 



158 



CAP. II. 



THE SHADE OF HUITZA. 



Yet being much smaller, Talascati was built after the fashion 
of Zul : and the great ports, shut above the moat, bid defiance 
to any attack from land, but the river front was open. The 
architecture, though not equalling the massiveness or grandeur 
of the capital, was nevertheless sufficiently remarkable. There 
was a vast temple to the Lord of Light and many others also ; 
the Governor's palace where also the Lord of the Territory 
resided whenever he visited it; the Market-place by the river, 
surrounded by bazaars and having a collection of deistic symbols 
and representations ; and innumerable houses built of lava stone. 

Down by the waterway lay a fleet of boats and rafts, numerous 
others being tied to the banks or lying on them. Single tree- 
trunks, hollowed by fire, formed the greater part of them, but 
there were many rush-framed and skin-covered boats and rafts 
floated by whole skins of animals inflated. There were no large 
vessels there, and the only one they had ever seen of large 
size was the Tacoatlanta, which at times came up the river 
through the Gates of Talascan with a great wash of water 
around her, either to call there or go beyond, and occasionally 
smaller war-vessels from Zul would come up. These were such 
as were designed to sail round the encircling moat, and were 
shallow boats. 

The population reminded the visitor of Zul during the period 
of the annual tournaments, for here there were always many 
hunters, miners, fishers and collectors of gums and feathers; 
and, although every man was a warrior and liable to be called 
upon to attack or resist an enemy, there was nevertheless a 
troop clothed and armed uniformly and kept in idleness for 
any emergency. 

159 



ATLANTIS. 

Here, also, in addition to the vices of a barbarous civilization, 
was exhibited the natural life of the country before cities were 
built, the life of the single-handed warrior and hunter searching 
for his daily bread with no farther care or ambition ; yet who 
had also fallen into idolatry and worshipped whatsoever his 
fancy gave him. 

As at Zul, there was kept, in the temple of the Sun, Tekthah's 
standard and symbol, a four-armed cross; and all over the city, 
on pedestals, in temples or niches, wriggled in wooden or stone 
semblance the worshipped offspring of degraded ideas : there a 
bird-headed Thoth stood, and there foul Lamia writhed their 
serpent-coils. Dagons and Bellerophons, Centaurs, antlered men 
and winged monsters and the hermaphrodite gods of Atlantis 
were represented under various names ; but by far the greater 
number were the most grossly prostituted representations of 
female forms, the producers and nurses of life. Before them 
burned sweetly-scented natural woods in earthern braziers, and 
strong animal odours were offered to their gross nostrils. The. 
human mind went out of its way to exaggerate and degrade, 
and crazed priests, mad with excesses, fanned the popular en- 
thusiasm and preached the righteousness of it all. 

The nobles followed the lead of Zul, and I saw how terrible 
a thing is a bad example set in high places. For ambition 
Tekthah had poured violence and excitement into the people's 
hearts, and now he had himself fallen beneath the whirlwind. 
It seemed that nought could check the chaos of sin, and no 
terror of nature turned the nation's heart to God ; for when to 
the west the thin vapour that ever wreathed the head of Axatlan 
lifted at times to the rush of a column of fire that burst forth 
with a roar and outpourings of rivers of gold, the people would 
but offer up more victims and drench their idols with wine, 
imploring them to hear and save them. 

Large of limb and but half-civiHzed were most of the Talas- 
cans, cursing the Lord Rhadaman and crying to the Sun to 
burn him ; yet they went not elsewhere, because if the master 
were not Rhadaman it was Izta or some other; and also the 
human breast was strongly inclined not to leave the place of 
its birth, thereby preventing some places becoming overpopulous 

1 60 



THE SHADE OF HUITZA. 

and others empty. And this, notwithstanding that they might 
be desert, or subject to earthquakes, or greatly overrun by 
noxious beasts or insects. 

The Talascans, as all of Atala, I have said, were hardy 
mountaineers. Great hunters were they, armed with axes and 
spears of flint and bone and metal, with which they killed the 
large bears that lived in the caves. In their forests were the 
elk and the mammoth, and others huge of bulk and terrific in 
appearance and power, rending the trees and devouring the 
crops of wheat and maize ; and there were great saurians in the 
rivers, whose teeth were used for spearheads, while a very large 
species of land-crab at times invaded them and covered the 
earth with its multitudes. Eagles harried their flocks, and ser- 
pents of vast length terrified them; a certain fowl, with a body 
as great as an ox and formidable mandibles, ot. furnished dan- 
gerous sport for the hunters, but was excellent to the taste as 
meat ; and the fierce aurochs ran in dark herds on the borders 
of Axatlan and to the south, many lives being lost in the pursuit 
of such. There were lynxes and panthers that carried off the 
domestic fowls, and also vexatious wild cats and dogs and 
smaller vermin. 

Yet the land was rich, and the people always had enough 
wherewith to pay the taxes ; while by their prowess commanding 
respect they were always well cared for and favourably noticed 
at the Capital when they went up to trade or attend the Circus 
festivals. 

Out beyond the river-mouth and Astra lay the great pearl-oyster 
beds, whose white gems were so much in request among the 
belles and fair women of Zul, commanding great prices wherever 
exhibited and being a valuable revenue to the land. And this 

« Before such a statement as this we can but bow the head in silence. Neither 
the oldest histories nor palaeontological researches have discovered so great a bird, 
although there were of old larger animal forms than now. The Dodo, which, 
classified among the pigeons, was a giant of its species 5 the gigantic ostrich-like 
Dinornis of New Zealand 5 the Pelagornis, a winged monster of the albatross tribe ; 
the Moa, the Gastornis Parisiensis^ whose remains have been recently found in 
the Eocene conglomerates of Meudan — all these as birds far surpass any we can 
muster now, but would not furnish a parallel to the bird of Atlantis, although they 
might prove the descending scale of size. 

161 H 



ATLANTIS. 

was a great covetousness to Chanoc, for if the country were 
swept by fire and sword the new Tzan could not destroy the 
pearl-fisheries, which could be a revenue to them against the 
rest of the land. 

Great meetings were called for discussion of defence against 
the threatened invasion. Often messengers arrived from Acoa, 
declaring that the gods would aid Huitza, who might shortly 
be expected ; and at length came one who asserted that he 
had seen the prince himself This one was sent by Noah, for 
the time appointed had arrived that Toltiah, being now grown, 
should appear. 

And in this manner the youth came to Talascan : Noah and 
his family, with Azta and Nahuasco and the guards, arrived 
before the walls and were admitted, causing no small comment, 
for all knew Azta and many recognised the Tzantan Nahuasco 
and most of the family of the aforetime governor of Tek-Ra. 
The patriarch declared] that, Huitza dead, he had been drawn 
into the wilderness to seek him, and would now reveal the 
reappearing leader to the land. Crowds gathered around the 
group, and my Love, with her wonderful presence and surrounded 
by the glamour of a myriad tales and romances, real and ima- 
ginary, greatly aided the enthusiasm attendant. Noah vowed 
that he would next day produce Huitza in the flesh before all, 
sent to them by the Lord Jehovah to avenge his forgotten and 
insulted name, being also Father of Zul before whom other 
gods were preferred. He reminded them that Huitza was 
greatly beloved of Zul, and at his words Azta's eyes flashed 
so that my soul fainted with sorrow. Running messengers 
were despatched to every city and all the tribes to tell them, 
Huitza comes, rejuvenated, pregnant with victory, to bring 
freedom to the land and avenge the nation on the tyrants that 
ground it down. 

Thus he would come, and in this favoured city would he 
ai)pear, preferring it before any of Tek-Ra, and would make it 
a mighty name in Atlantis. 

The populace was in a state of wild enthusiasm; Chanoc 
gave a palace for Azta and Noah and their people to dwell 
in, and that night the city flared with bonfires. Everyone was 

162 



THE SHADE OF HUITZA. 

drunk with wine, and the large square of the Market-place was 
full of revellers in a state bordering on insanity. They shouted 
and shrieked, pouring wasteful libations over the bestial images 
until they shimmered under the lurid glow of the fires, with 
their trickling, odorous streams. Skin-clad hunters shook their 
spears in the air, leaping like madmen with formidable cries^ 
some imitating the roaring of lions or the trumpet-call of the 
deer; and women with dishevelled hair and bared bosoms ran 
shrieking among them, their eyes flashing in the lights as they 
rolled them with wanton glances. The banging of drums and 
shrieks of whistles added greatly to the din, but the chiefs and 
nobles discussed the advent of the great Huitza and wondered 
what should come of it. 

Myself, I dared not interfere. These mortals knew the 
temper and inclinations of one another better than I, and surely 
one born as Toltiah should be able to cope with matters 
of Earth. 

Thus the next day Noah came down to the Market-place 
attended by Chanoc and his guards, with Nahuasco's troop, 
his servants and his family, among whom was Azta. Mounted 
upon a block, the patriarch stood elevated above the thousands 
who came running from all around, leaving the walls and barri- 
cades at the call of the Governor's trumpets, waiting to hear 
what he might say to them and forgetting his corrective reputation 
in the knowledge that he was the trusted vizier of their great 
chieftain. 

Among the crowds mingled warriors of the city guards, their 
bright helmets flashing above the more sombre headdresses, and 
shadowed by the beautiful plumes of the ostrich, which were 
eagerly obtained, or that of the wild swan. None in all the 
land wore the plumage of the peacock, fearing it with a great 
superstition, and holding it as the emblem of the setting sun, 
of which they supposed its spread tail to be a symbol. 

Azta, in a slung carriage, commanded nearly as much en- 
thusiasm as the expectation of Huitza, for there were weird 
legends muchly connecting the twain, and all believed her to 
be potential in the matter. Tall Shem stood impassive and 
watchful, Ham and Japheth leaned on their spears, the former 

163 



ATLANTIS. 

rolling his eyes with vast amusement over the crowd of whom 
he stood one of the tallest. The women and children, among 
whom stood the fair Susi, were timid and fearful of the multi- 
tudes, yet confident in their leader and their God. Only I had 
no place there, and should scarce indeed have been there at all. 

Beyond the rustling of the crowd and the occasional clang of 
armour there was no sound. Noah began to speak, rousing the 
people's anger against the usurper, Shar-Jatal, and all the evil 
lords of Zul. But as yet he would not denounce the evil doings 
of the land, preferring to wait until the monster of Sin with 
bruised head should lay at his mercy; in which hope all my 
soul was also, and I greatly dwelt on its fulfilment. 

Now Toltiah lay in the midst of his people, hidden and as 
yet unsuspected ; but after a prayer of exhortation from Noah 
this one stepped forth and mounted on to the block which the 
patriarch surrendered in his favour. 

The crowd perceived a godlike beardless youth of vast 
stature and splendid presence, with the ruddy hair and command- 
ing eye of the great Chief. There, younger, taller and still 
more majestic, he stood, a very miracle before their astonished 
eyes, a dreadful beauty enstamped upon his features that were 
like unto a very beautiful woman's. A golden plate covered 
his chest, broad as an archangel's, and upon his head he placed 
now the winged helmet. 

The silence was broken up, and the air was rent by a vast 
roar, deafening and prolonged. Four tall warriors, mounting 
him on their shields, raised him high above the heads of the 
people, shout on shout rolling to the sky, and Azta's child, in 
the character of Azta's Love, seemed exalted to the altitude of 
a god. 

Those nearest to him noted that his eyes were yellow and 
of great penetration, and his hair as dark molten gold. Never 
had such perfection of form been seen before, such splendid 
limbs and carriage, and I felt a great pride in my own sad 
heart as I looked on him and wondered how so strange a being 
would act. With enthusiastic shouts the people raised their 
swords and spears, and the crowd swayed under a veil of tossing 
yellow mantles. Young girls and children were lifted towards 

164 



THE SHADE OF HUITZA. 

him, and in the deUrium of their joy even the abominable idols 
were pulled down and abased before him, all manners of excesses 
being committed in the frenzy. 

And this was also my child, this strange, beautiful being 1 
What power lay within the grasp of this splendid Amazon- 
like man 1 For one moment, as I thought of Zul and the land 
of a thpusand cities, I felt a great joy at the thought that it 
would be his own and he would wield the sceptre of Atlantis 
from th^t great red palace, and influence the peoples for good 
and for Jehovah. And then, perchance, might I claim my Love 
for mine own and purge my folly in righteousness. 

Yet I liked not the look upon Toltiah's countenance, which 
was one of great arrogance, bespeaking an Earthly spirit. He 
kissed his thumbs towards the shouting people, seeking the 
warriors particularly with his eyes and casting a long stare upon 
Susi, who had refused his secret advances. On Azta, his mother, 
he smiled triumphantly, and with still more triumph she returned 
his glance. I perceived the great emotions with which she 
gazed upon him — the love of a mother — and, O God I of a 
lover! — the confidence of nigh satisfied ambition that filled her 
eyes with tears of joy as she watched and heard the roars of 
enthusiasm that hailed the youth's appearance. His foster-brothers 
were loudest in their demonstrations, waving spears and shields 
high with exultant glee, and all were happy save myself For 
in that long, deep breath of freedom and the lustful stare 
around I saw written, as with a flaming finger upon the clouds, 
my completed doom ; and gazing with a horror of longing passion 
upon Azta, saw that her whole absorbed attention rested upon 
that shield-borne Majesty that should drag Earth to its doom — the 
consummation of her foolishness and mine. 

Mine ! I could have melted with agony ; and then my attention 
was fixed again. Suddenly shouts of a different import spread 
rapidly through the crowd. Above the river barricades appeared 
three moving poles, the foremost topped with the Cross of 
Atlantis, and no explanation was needed to tell the crowd what 
they signified. 

Agape and silent they stood for an instant, the moving poles 
coming up rapidly amid a crashing, creaking and splashing 

165 



ATLANTIS. 

medly of sounds from the flotilla of shipping, and instantly 
an iron grappler flew to the top of the barricades and held there. 

There were many, among whom was Toltiah, who knew not 
what was portending, but a great shout of dismay enlightened 
most of them : 

" The Tacoatlanta 1 " 



1 66 



CAP. III. 



THE RISING SUN. 



High above the cries of the people rang the voice of Chanoc, 
claiming attention and distilling confidence. The women ran 
to hide themselves in the houses, terrified and shrieking, while 
Nahuasco and the city legionaries ran to repel what might 
threaten. 

There was no time to be lost. Messengers were despatched 
to the garrisons round the walls to bid them be ready to 
resist any attack by land, while bands of warriors sped to aid 
them, and spies were sent to the highest roofs to give warnings 
and issue directions. 

With the guards, towering above all, ran Toltiah, with sword 
and buckler, eager for the fray and recollecting now all that 
he had heard of the war-ship and her manner of attack. But 
most were sorely puzzled as to how the vessel had passed the 
boom and why no warning of her approach had heen sounded. 
The city was in an uproar, drums heating and whistles shrieking 
above the long-drawn war-whoops. 

Azta bade her bearers remain where they stood, her heart 
too full for expression with unknown fears, as, astonished to 
find the massive barricades opposed to them, the men on the 
Tacoatlanta nevertheless ran her close up to the landing, with 
a proud and ferocious confidence in the irresistibility of their 
wild onrush and the moral eftect of their unshaken valour upon 
those before them. Clustering upon the bulwarks, they prepared 
to leap upon the defences when the great vessel could be 
hauled near enough by the ropes attached to the grapplers, 
aided by the slaves at the oars. 

The defenders were scarce in time to repel them as in scores 
they crowned the barricades. Toltiah waved his mighty blade 

167 



ATLANTIS. 

in flashing circles and smote at the foremost, shouting " Huitza 
and Zul ! " The warriors took up the cry ; as the sound of a 
storm it spread from mouth to mouth, and the Imperial troops 
perceiving the ruddy mane of the leader and his resemblance 
to the dead chief, remembered the prophecy, wavered in dis- 




CLUSTERING UPON THE BULWARKS, THEY PREPARED TO LEAP. 



mayed confusion, and were hurled backwards, many falling 
into the water and drowning in their harness. 

It was a victory, for the cry spread through the attacking 
forces, and some of the grapplers were hauled back to them 
as the warriors hesitated. The heads of the Talascans were 
raised above the barricade with triumphant shouts, and the 

1 68 



THE RISING SUN. 

archers on the warship let their weapons fall as Ham and 
Nahuasco raised Toltiah on their shields in full view of all. 

But now shouts arose from the roofs and a distant uproar 
told of war along the land battlements. Leaving his victorious 
comrades, Toltiah sped thither, accompanied by Shem and 
Nahuasco, which one would not leave him. The streets were 
empty, for all were round the walls, but as Toltiah sped Azta 
cried out to him victoriously, watching the splendid being 
eagerly until he was gone. 

By the walls men fought hand to hand with the glittering 
warriors of the Imperial Guards, who had landed from the 
warship to the number of five hundred and were furiously 
assailing them. Now, above the clangour of armour and 
the clash of swords, the shouts, shrieks and groans of the 
combatants and the cries of the captains, rang out a formidable 
war-cry: "Huitza! Huitza and Zull " 

The Talascans with shouts of victory rushed forward, driving 
the foe from the breaches. Men slipped in blood, and spears 
were buried in human flesh : limbs dropped, shorn clean off" by 
the heavy swords, and the godlike form of Toltiah, pressing 
through the swaying crowds, forced its way to the front. 

There he fought, the tall wings gleaming above the press, 
the ruddy hair that there had been no time to wrap round the 
head flying in yellow masses ; the returned Chief, the Prince 
on whom the hopes of Atlantis were centreed ! 

The unconquered warriors of Zul stared in wild dismay and 
hesitated. The Tzantan Nezca cried out that they surrendered 
to Huitza, while the erstwhile foemen shouted his name 
exultingly, raising spear and sword in salute. 

Flushed with his first success, the youth could afiford to be 
gracious, neither had long wars steeled his heart. Stepping for- 
ward, he took Nezca's hand and placed it on his heart, himself 
performing the same action on the other's person, looking with 
great regard on the chief, for he was a very goodly man. 
"We are brothers," he said, and all the warriors shouted 
with joy, climbing the walls and kneeling in obeisance to 
the prince. 

But I caused a voice to speak to Toltiah ; " Go, seize the 

169 



ATLANTIS. 

warship, for there are others that come;" and speeding swiftly 
to the barricades by the river, he cried, " Seize the Tacoatlantal " 

He was too late. With a confusion of cries, with trailing 
rigo-ing and mingled oars the great warship was drifting sideways 
down the centre of the stream ; and as the victors crowded 
down to take her with the little boats that were left unharmed, 
the painted sail on the fore-mast was raised, the huge steering 
oars were brought into play and, the other two sails being set 
to the wind, the monster moved rapidly away, while the pursuers 
hastened back on perceiving an armada approaching. For, 
clearing the wreck of the enormous boom, three more warships, 
towing rafts full of men, were approaching, but stopped on 
perceiving the flight of the Tacoatlanta and the crowding foemen. 

The victors were disappointed in this failure to take the 
warship. Messengers were instantly despatched to warn the 
Axatlans who held the fords, eight leagues above the city; for 
beyond that to the West the mighty stream flowed through 
defiles and deserts, prohibiting the passages of troops and stores,^ 
and even far-wandering hunters knew of no other place for 
such purpose within any practical distance. 

\'ct the warships could float over the fords, and therein lay 
much danger; and a great council was held. 

hVom Nezca was learned that yet another army, under the 
Tzantan Izta, was on the march against them, with great stores 
and many engines of war and a multitude of warriors. This 
army had laid waste the land as it marched, sacking towns 
and villages and pitilessly murdering all the inhabitants, and 
going afar from its course to destroy the cities of Tek-Ra and 
all the territory of lluitza. Upon Chuza was made a night 
attack, and ere the morning sun had risen the houses and 
streets ran red with the blood of midnight revellers surprised 
at their debaucheries and slain, only such escaping as managed 
to climb uj) into the great pallo, whose reduction would take 
more time than was agreeable to accomplish, it being amply 
stocked with food ; for it was used to a great extent as a 
granary, and there was a well of water within. But the town 
was left in ruins and the walls razed to the ground A mes- 
senger brought back the news to Zul, and, the army on its 

170 



THE RISING SUN. 

march for Talascan, four warships had started under the gover- 
nance of Biidil, a son of Shar-Jatal ; and it was hoped that, 
Talascan crushed, the land would be at the Usurper's mercy. 

Then arose the daring ambition of Toltiah, who declared that 
he would do no less than march upon Zul ! This boldness 
pleased the chiefs, and that night was the youth proclaimed 
publicly Tzan of Atlantis, king of the Earth, and presented 
amid impressive ceremonies with the National Standard, taken 
from its temple for the purpose of being used as the battle- 
standard until peace should come again. 

Crowds assisted, and the city was jubilant. The new Huitza 
appeared more than victorious, a promise of unlimited joy and 
freedom 1 He refused to have an Imperial helmet made, de- 
claring that he would wear Tekthah's and none other. 

Azta was triumphant, with an immense pride in her heart, 
being considered the next most important person to Toltiah. 
Also she was treated by him (who also stood somewhat in awe 
of her, being indeed a stranger) and the rest of the populace 
as Empress, occupying the half of a double throne with him in 
the palace of Chanoc. Her presence, rendered more majestic 
and imposing by her sublime pride, impressed all very greatly, 
and her mystic eyes touched their superstitions deeply. She 
was supposed, nay, reputed, to be of celestial mould and power, 
and to her was ascribed the reappearance of Huitza, while 
her furious impatience of delayed respect made her feared 
by all. 

Mere repute was turned into certainty by her coldness and 
continence, which commanded respect while inflaming desires, 
and with the wish of possessing her the thoughts of all who 
deemed themselves of sufficiently high degree dwelt with a 
daring joy on possibilities ; in the which I perceived much 
future trouble, yet none could ever encounter the glance of those 
yellow eyes without feeling a sensation of chill and fear. 

Toltiah would fain have rested a while to form a court and 
establish a household. Arrogant with victory and believing 
himself to be, as the people declared, a god, he wished to 
enjoy those growing passions that possibilities bred and nurtured ; 
but the savage impatience of Azta and the exhortations of the 

171 



ATLANTIS. 

governor and the Tzantans advised him to be energetic until 
the Throne of Atlantis was actually beneath his feet. 

Yet now fresh preparations must be made, for they were 
not ready as regards the offensive, being but as yet desirous 
of protecting themselves from the power of Zul. To every 
city was sent the news that Huitza had returned, and it flew 
abroad on the swift wings of rumour, strengthening the weak 
and rejoicing the strong; and warriors began to gather across 
the river by the fords, and journey to Talascan. But the warships 
and armaments in the river were a vast menace, and perchance 
had Toltiah more experience he would not have thought of 
aught yet but protection. But all believed in him, and while 
residing with his chiefs in the palace he formed a camp also 
without the walls, bidding all the cities of the province mass 
their warriors around Talascan; and his genius rising with his 
power, he showed them how to make a fortress of the city and 
directed how to form another boom across the river. 

Preparations for an immense armament commenced, and the. 
peoples of the city and the tribes without were formed into 
various legions. Runners were sent to bring in the wandering 
tribes and even to treat with the western savages and some of 
the weird peoples who lived in the mountains and deserts of 
Axatlan. Noah preached a holy war, greatly enthusing all by 
his frenzy and his zeal, and Azta's gracious words to the 
Tzantans rendered them eager to commence already a rush on 
the capital, regardless of the warships and the approaching 
army of Izta. Yet Nahuasco, and Noah, and such as had 
followed Tekthah in the old wars, advised caution concerning 
such a move ; for here they would face men of their own race 
behind impregnable walls, which would have to be surrounded 
by an encircling trench that would forbid any desperate sallies 
and bring a long starvation. Nor would this dire famine cause 
themselves less suffering, seeing how great an army was being 
raised, which could scarce be fed upon one spot. 

But Toltiah would brook no caution ; weapons of war were 
manufactured in great quantities, and because of the clouds of 
slingers that hung on the flanks of the warships and rafts these 
had to keep far down the river and on the other side, waiting 

172 



THE RISING SUN. 

for Izta to arrive. Bows and arrows were made as fast as 
eager workers could turn them out; and now Japheth remem- 
bered the great engine constructed by his sons outside Chuza, 
the catapult, heaving a vast bolt upon the enemy. Therefore 
he set to work to construct one; gangs of men worked at the 
engine, exulting in all they learned of its possibilities, and the 
city rejoiced greatly because of the powerful men who had 
arrived to aid. 

The first catapult was set to command the river below the 
city, in which direction lay the armada, and afterwards more 
were constructed, and the new legions trained in archery, for 
all knew the use of spear, sword and sling. 



^72, 



CAP. IV. 



THE CAMP OF TOLTIAH. 



Each day brought reinforcements from all parts by tribes and 
thousands, encamping under the orders of their own Patriarchs, 
but all owning the supreme authority of Toltiah. 

From the plains came the wild herdsmen of Assa, Het, Emok, 
and Alorus, powerful chiefs with many followers, the tribes of 
the Owl standard, and all the spearmen of Enoch ; the tribes 
of the Vulture, the Unicorn, and the Crow. 

From the raided province of Tek-Ra came fugitives : from 
Chuza, Bab-Ista, Bab-An and other cities ; from Sular, Karbandu,^ 
Azod, Bitaranu, Surapa, Sham; and other great chiefs of the 
plains with their stout followers and countless herds of sheep, 
goats, and oxen. 

And I saw where the young chief Lotis, of Katalaria in 
Trocoatla, gathered his tall borderers in battle array, his mother 
being that Veteve, sister of Azco the governor, who had great 
distinctions given to her for compliance to the wishes of Shar-Jatal 
in past days. And notwithstanding that she was a hard woman, 
she loved her son with a mighty love and was in great distress 
that he should so depart from her, entreating the gods con- 
cerning it upon her knees with floods of tears. Fain would 
she ever keep her boy by her side, gazing upon him with all 
the best love of a mother. But San, his beloved, although 
sorrowing equally with her, would prefer that her lord should 
go where glory might be reaped. She vowed that she would 
not survive him, yet loved not to keep her warrior back in 
shameful security; and although in his absence she wept with 
the sad mother, in his presence she was brave and exalted, 
speaking of nought but of glory to be reaped. 

And here were two loves, and of the two which was the better? 

174 



THE CAMP OF TOLTIAH. 

And in the issue Lotis went forth with all the many thou- 
sands that ran to join Toltiah. 

How great an enthusiasm was there I The hope of sacking 
Zul aroused their savage hopes to a terrific pitch, and the 
name of Huitza was a power, in itself, promising a future 
beyond all dreams of spoliation and rapine. The total effect 
of the crowds was as of that great congregation which gathered 
round the capital at the time of the Circus games ; for, stretch- 
ing in a dense selvedge around the walls of Talascan, some 
encamped under tents of skin or cloth, others dug holes in the 
earth, with screens, stretched on poles, surrounding them ; while 
hunters, accustomed to all the hardships of their existence, lay 
on the ground, encamped round fires. Some of these last, 
clothed in the whole skins of animals, presented an extraor- 
dinary appearance, many wearing over their matted hair, which 
was usually gathered at the back into a plaited thong, the 
heads of. wolves, bears, aurochs, and stags with the spreading 
antlers. Some wore horse skins from which the long, thick 
tails swung, and one or two carried the horn and cranium 
of the dreaded unicorn, x 

But among these semi-savages were races who cultivated the 
arts of cities, and tribes whose wealth permitted the purchase 
of elaborate war-harness; and among such the plumes of the 
eagle and ostrich towered above metal helmets, adding to the 
splendid stature of the wearers clad in gleaming vantbraces 
and cothurns, cuirass and backplate, — their arms of metal and 
obsidian looking formidable among the clumsy stone axes and 
mighty tusk-studded clubs of their humbler comrades. 

The southern warriors brought with them beautiful women, 
who fastened lantern-beetles among their ebon tresses, where 
the lights glowed until the creatures died; and these women were 
the occasion of many broils and quarrels because of their beauty 
and wantonness, dallying with any who would. 

It was a gay scene of warlike splendour in that great city and 
the country surrounding the walls. Mingled with rough aprons 

« The name Unicorn, as its etymology denotes, is given to any animal with one 
horn, but generally, I believe, refers to the single- horned rhinoceros. In this case 
it as probably indicates the antelope mentioned in chapter IX. 

175 



ATLANTIS. 

of hides there were mantles of leopard-skins and the beautiful 
furs of the beaver, bear, lynx, lion and rabbit; there were 
breastplates of rough silver from Trocoatla, the whole shells of 
laro-e turtles bartered from the Astran fishermen, and tortoises 
from the forests of Axatlan; cuirasses of stout leather, covered 
with the formidable shield and attached horns of a species of 
wild ox, or with the spiked scales of the Hilen saurians. 

Over far-spreading shoulders hung huge, massy bucklers, 
leather-covered and studded with metal bosses, some being 
entirely of metal and very glittering, yet showing dents and 
hollows received by weapons of war. Some of the Tzantans 
wore mantles of feather-work, and among the birds that thus 
gave their coloured beauties for a warrior's ornamentation were 
conspicuous the white swan, the scarlet flamingo, various macaws 
and the gem-like humming-bird. The skin-clad hunters gazed 
with envy on these gorgeous trappings, yet their own sterner 
robes of lion-skin cost more than feather mantles in manly 
prowess. There were other garments, of woven cotton and silk^ 
dyed in various colours, and bartered for eagerly in Zul at the 
Circus periods ; but most of the military cloaks were entirely 
scarlet, being plain but of striking effect among the other orna- 
ments and trapping. 

Abandoned women thronged to the camp, idols were set up 
to be worshipped and propitiated, and some of the nomad tribes 
who owned no god at all, were initiated into this or that belief. 
Those from the southern plains were awe-struck by the moun- 
tains, and worshipped the hill A.xatlan, visible on the very far 
horizon ; and there were those who had never seen a city and 
were terrified by the walls and the mighty uncouth colossi that 
supported the buildings. 

Some tribes of savages came in, but these were panicky and 
fearful of their white companions, and were especially awed by 
the great city. There were many thousands in the great, roaring 
camp, more and more arriving as the rumour of the gathering 
and its object spread, and still the army of Izta came not, and 
still the armada in the river waited. There were some terrible 
peoples from the western wildernesses, some huge, some small, 
all deformed and monstrous, who hung on the outskirts of the 

176 



THE CAMP OF TOLTIAM. 

vast gathering, feeding on earth-roots and the ofFal of the camp ; 
and from the north came a great number of Amazons, whose 
advent seemed Hkely to cause a strife in the camp, as their 
reputation, exaggerated and half-mythical, aroused the keenest 
interest among the licentious crowds, ot. There were many 
dangerous episodes and not a little bloodshed before this extra- 
ordinary and warlike race was understood to be capable of 
defending its creed, and some of the best warriors of Toltiah 
had to own to the strength and courage of these tall, ferocious 
women, and their skill in the use of weapons. Lithe and agile 
as panthers, with rounded but sturdy limbs, and thick hair tied 
in knots under their helmets of animals' craniums, they wore 
their skin garments girded up under a belt, while their small 
breasts did not prevent the most perfect use of their arms in 
wielding spear or axe, most of them wearing over them a tough 
ceinture of hide fastened round the shoulders. Leathern cothurns 
covered their legs, and sandals protected their feet ; their shields 
were oblong, made of wolf-skins, with the tails flapping from 
them, and the heads fastened to the centre. They gazed with 
great curiosity upon the women of the cities, sneering at their 
use of powder to decorate their faces, and staring amazed at 
their jewelled teeth and elaborate head-dresses, and their inhaling 
of smoke through pipes. 

Azta was greatly interested in these warrior-women, whose 
Queen was a majestic figure, taller than herself; and between 
the two sprang up a firm friendship. To the Amazon the 
splendid symmetry and mystic beauty of the Tizin was a 
wonder and a delight, while no less was the latter's admiration 
compelled by the high bearing and the bold, free carriage of 

X In most ancient histories we hear of Amazons, and these women warriors 
have been usually regarded as mythical, although they were apparently quite equal 
to the men among the Sarmatians, the Sauromata: of Herodotus. This race occupied 
the steppes between the Don and the Caspian, and the women rode, hunted and 
fought in battle like the men. Indeed on one occasion we learn that Amage, the 
wife of the dissolute King, accompanied by 120 chosen horsemen, delivered Cher- 
sonesus in Taurus from the neighbouring Scythian King, whom she slew with all 
his followers and gave the kingdom to his son. The Sarmatians appear to be 
superior to the Scythians, but by speaking a nearly identical language would 
probal)ly be an allied race. 

177 12 



ATLANTIS. 

this woman who dared to compete with men in war. This was 
the Hfe that won her admiration, and now she wished that, 
Tizin of Atlantis, she could be surrounded by such guards, their 
Chieftainess. Vet she could but own herself scarce fitted for 
the stern hardships of actual warfare as she surveyed the large, 
strong limbs and hard features of the Amazons and compared 
them with her own softly-rounded beauties. 

Thousands of the new arrivals were drafted into the various 
legions, everything displaying on the part of Toltiah a genius that 
might well have befitted the prince he was supposed to be, and 
Chanoc, Nahuasco and experienced leaders were content to 
approve and aid in everything he did, pleased in his daring 
scheme and the vast preparations made for carrying it out. 
Far and wide thousands more supplied the army with food, and 
great drafts of men were sent to the fords. The mechanical 
genius of the camp was exercised to discover engines for siege, 
to be constructed when near the threatened city, for human 
limbs, though of formidable strength, were powerless against 
turrets of rock and stone, and those tall warriors whose godlike 
fronts were so terrible in their iron-muscled power would face 
men of like mould, Tekthah's veterans and the haughty lords 
of Zul. The prowess of Shar-Jatal appalled none, but there 
were men there like IztH, the dread conqueror of the territory 
of Trocoatla ; the mysterious and mighty Toloc ; the gray-haired 
Colosse and the giant Amal with the seven toes on each foot, 
who had marched with the Tzan from the North. The witch 
Pocatepa would raise the legions of the dead against them — that 
black-eyed sorceress with the aquiline nose and voluptuous Hps — 
and perchance even Acoa would fight against his Sun-favoured 
children, Azta and Huitza, and cause a terrible night to over- 
spread them. 

In spite of all the great preparations, a certain idleness was 
already beginning to work mischief, and the chiefs advised a 
speedy start before the masses should become demoralized or 
lose their warlike ardour. Each night was a roaring saturnalia, 
bonfire-lighted; and although reinforcements came in daily, there 
were also vast desertions. Riots occurred and much wantonness 
was committed through suppressed energy, yet the leaders could 

178 



THE CAMP OF TOLTIAH. 

scarce deem such rabble as was most of that vast array prepared 
sufficiently to conquer Atlantis. All were inexperienced in the 
storming of walls, and the chiefs feared terrible reverses. 
. The thousands were ordered to make spear-heads, hatchets 
and arrow-heads of bone and flint, while legions were raised 
and practised in warlike manoeuvres. It was at length decided 
to leave the rabble behind, for the greater part, while the 
trained legions, with some thousands of hunters and some of 
the more superior tribes, should cross the river, and, surrounding 
and crushing the army of Izta, strike terror on the armada and 
treat for its surrender. 

To that end a great concourse of archers, crossing by the 
fords to the opposite side of the river, so galled the ships 
(who thus were enduring a storm of missiles from both banks 
without being able to obtain immunity by the too-near centre 
of the stream), that they moved away round a bend, sea-ward ; 
and this prevention being gone, a great boom was constructed 
across the river, made of trees fastened together with hide ropes, 
below the city, so that the warships might not interfere- with 
the passage of the troops. This work kept crowds employed 
with great efforts for some days, and the legionaries played 
games of chance, exhibited their terrific muscular powers or 
philandered with the women; hunted, fished in the river and 
quarrelled. Not a day passed without some rupture, the outcome 
of idleness ; not a night without some wild scene of debauchery. 
The savages, made to work like slaves on the boom, and losing 
many lives, deserted by the hundreds. Large rafts were con- 
structed for transporting the troops, who were filled with a vast 
enthusiasm and were confident of victory, causing a danger by 
their very confidence. Their leaders were not so ready to leave 
the city in the face of the armada that ever menaced, for their 
only trust was in Nezca's guards, the Talascan legions, the 
Amazons and a few warlike tribes. The rest would only bear 
the brunt of the carnage and serve as a hindrance to the enemy 
by disjointed and persistent attacks. 

But it was the only thing to be done. The army could not 
be left longer idle, nor might it be allowed to lose confidence 
by hesitation. The next day the transportation would commence, 

179 



ATLANTIS. 

and at the evening camp the warriors reclined around flaring 
fires, with mirth and wildest enthusiasm. It was a strangely 
grotesque crowd, encamped over miles of land on plains and 
among forests. The moon shone bright from a cloudless sky, 
lighting the great white city and almost hiding the red vapour 
that rose from Axatlan. The structure of the lower catapult 
stood black and grim against the sky, completed and formidable, 
only waiting to be brought into use when its range should be 
ascertained, for it was not desirable to display its deficiencies 
by wanton aim : from the city-wall to where the opposite bank 
showed darkly, floated the tide-swept boom, like the backbone 
of some mighty cetacean. 

Suddenly exclamations arose and the wanton shrieks of women. 
Far off, but distinctly visible, a great dark shadow swept round 
the bend of the river with a foamy wave of water around it, 
from which it rose square and threatening. It came up rapidly, 
keeping in the middle of the stream, and when the spectators 
imagined it about to approach the boom at speed it reduced 
its proportions, and with a great back-churning of waters stood 
revealed a long, low shape with three bare poles rising from 
it; and again arose the dismayed cry of "the Tacoatlantal" 
as, slightly heaving on the waters, the warship lay as though 
contemplating the opposing obstacle with its great human-like 
head. 

Then slowly she moved back again and vanished. The moon 
set and darkness lay on the waters. Men watched all night, 
and some believed they heard strange sounds from the river, 
but a kite sent up with a flaming torch attached revealed nothing, 
and none dared venture on the boom of a night for fear of the 
great reptiles and the river-demons. 

But next morning the huge boat lay opposite the city, and 
the boom swung down stream by its opposite ends, severed in 
the middle. 



1 80 



CAP. V. 



THE TACOATLANTA. 



With shouts of rage, men clustered along the water's edge, 
and in anticipation of an attack the garrisons went to their 
several posts ; although the Amazons, required to keep the 
walls while the men took the field, haughtily refused to obey, 
and held themselves in readiness for an attack. 

The slingers, archers and spearmen were in their respective 
camps, ready for the passage. The hunters and savages, scat- 
tered along the banks in a long, dense array, were ordered to 
be on the alert to oppose any attempt at landing. Some thou- 
sands of these untrained but formidable men were in the walls, 
and harassed the enemy by slinging stones and ofifal within his 
bulwarks. Another boom was prepared and made ready to 
swing across the current, twisted hawsers securing it to the 
bank ; while to the chiefs, Shem propounded a scheme, to cover 
such enterprise, of floating down some of the vast trunks, with 
their forests of branches intact, on to the warship, following up 
the confusion by an attack with boats and rafts. 

The foemen hurled abuse the one at the other, roaring fear- 
ful threats and vowing horrible tortures to the vanquished ; and 
suddenly a cry spread among the warriors on the banks as 
the three other vessels were perceived to be approaching, towing 
rafts full of men. The Mexteo led, her two large sails bellying 
to the fresh breeze, her many oars sending her along apace, 
with a swirl of foam around her and astern. 

A shout of welcome went up from the Tacoatlanta, a howl 
of rage from the Talascans. The warships and rafts came on up 
to the larger vessel, dropping grapplers and swinging to the 
current by the twisted skin hawsers. On and around them flew 
a hail of missiles, so that all lay under their shields ; while the 

i8i 



ATLANTIS. 

army of Toltiah. besieged by these comparatively few men, 
roared and shouted with rage, sending in hot haste to the Axat- 
lans to prepare for an attack by the armada, while large rocks 
were brought and piled up secretly for the catapults. But few 
had any knowledge of the use and power of this direful weapon, 
and had those on the armada known its range they would 
scarce have dared to venture so closely; yet, untried, it was 
decided not to use them yet and fruitlessly, preferring to make 
an attempt to capture one or more of the warships. 

Presently the -Mexteo and her two smaller consorts shifted their 
moorings, and, hoisting their sails and aided by their oars, went 
up the river with the towed rafts. All looked propitious for 
swinging the boom (which would be received by those archers 
who were upon the other bank), and for a night- attack on the 
Tacoatlanta, which lay opposite the waterway ; and while great 
trees were hauled to the water's edge for launching down on 
her, the warriors who were to attempt the capture were selected. 

Akin would lead them, an old, tried chieftain, and used to. 
the handling of boats, and to him was given full powers as to 
the conduct of the affair. The warriors were to embark after 
dark, to wear no armour, so that if thrown into the water they 
could save themselves by swimming, and were to attack simul- 
taneously at all points. 

Word was passed from chief to chief, from the Tzantans of 
the armies to the tribal Patriarchs, Polemarchs, Centurions and 
Captains, to hold their men in readiness to cross at any moment; 
the time probably being when the Tacoatlanta, enmeshed with 
the trees and violently assailed, would be so engaged that the 
new boom could be drifted across the river, men being posted 
to swing it by the hawsers, and others to run swiftly across the 
moving mass, leap to the shore and secure it with the aid of 
those others. 

All eagerly waited for the night, yet fearing it, because of 
the demons of the waters and the reptiles that lay beneath 
them. The gods were propitiated in trust that they might aid 
the attack, much sacrifices being offered to them ; and in the 
temple of the Moon Azta prayed, invoking all the spirits of 
night to aid, and such as flew in winged shape. 

182 



THE TACOATLANTA. 

Thus all were enthusiastic when night came, and with her 
clouds hid all light. Hundreds of tall dark figures crowded 
rafts and boats, keeping carefully out of the reach of such slight 
glow as reached them from the near temple of the Sun, yet 
which spread not far, being suffered to burn low. 

Whispering crowds thronged round the attackers as in darkness 
they pushed off silently and disappeared like shadows on the 
bosom of the water, with keen eyes striving to pierce the night 
to where, from higher up, the floating trees bore down on the 
vessel, secured to one another in order to be the more formid- 
able. Enormous bats wheeled and squeaked over the stream, 
and bright insects flew like moving torches of fire, terrifying 
the watchers. The tension was very great, the legions waiting 
anxiously the signal of the formation of the boom to prepare 
for crossing; and sudden and shrill, spHtting the silence with 
a thrilling yell, came a long, tremulous whoop, rising to a shriek. 

Shout upon shout answered and drums were beaten for encour- 
agement. From the river came crashes and thuds and the 
sounds of war. Sparks flew from crossing swords, and it appear- 
ed that the warship was not unprepared, for amid the distant 
storm of sounds rose the heavy splash of oars in regular fall, 
audible above crashes, shouts and shrieks. Yells came from 
furious throats, yet to the anxious, thrilling watchers the uproar 
seemed to be moving farther off. 

Yet now how greatly rose thy daring genius, Toltiah! For, 
revolving in his mind the great benefit of destroying the army 
of Izta and seizing his stores and engines, he perceived a chance 
of passage. The Tacoatlanta was drifting down the current, 
possibly disabled, and messengers, despatched by the prince, 
flew from post to post and to the engineers of the causeway 
who waited to let the restrained mass swing across the stream. 

Slowly the huge boom, released now from its restraining 
moorings, felt the current. Levers pushed forth the long trunks 
of trees, and the swift stream swung it in its joined masses 
across to the far bank. Already nimble hunters, reckless with 
haste and excitement and mindful of future reward, had run to 
the opposite end, and many more, wielding levers, secured more 
firmly the several portions ; and while returning from the attack 

183 



ATLANTIS. 

on the war-ship, on battered rafts or swimming like fishes, 
dripping warriors with streaming wounds climbed from the river, 
reporting a futile attempt at capture and the escape of the 
Tacoatlanta, the mighty boom was signalled secure, and over 
it began the passage of the army of Toltiah. 

Through the barricades they poured, vanishing into the 
gloom ; first Nezca with the guards, then the Amazons, and 
then hundreds of long-haired, skin- clad hunters. Many, over- 
come with excitement, and valiant by reason of much company, 
plunged into the river, and soon the churning water was alive 
with heads. With spear and sword strapped to their backs 
they swam with long powerful strokes, and hundreds of the 
savage tribesmen, from far up the banks, emulating them, plunged 
in and braved the waves. 

The breast of the leader was full of hope and joy. In imag- 
ination he saw the defeat of Izta and rejoiced in the welcome 
necessaries captured ; he saw the surrender of Budil and the 
armada and then the triumphant march to the Throng of 
Atlantis. Then a glowing light sprang up from down the river 
as a war-kite sailed slowly up, carrying a blazing torch, and by 
its light showed an appalling spectacle. The Tacoatlanta was 
returning ! The noise made by the passing army had reached 
the ears of her crew, Shar-Jatal's myrmidons and formidable 
opponents, and with eager oars and filled sails she was coming 
up with rapidity. 

The passage of the army stopped, the nearest to either shore 
going onward or hastily returning; while another light leaped 
from the bows of the warship as a bonfire was ignited on a 
protruding platform. 

A murmur rose like the sound of a storm, and Toltiah and 
all the chiefs beat their breasts with clenched fists, and growled 
in their throats. The archers were ordered to send their shafts 
into the galley while men flew in eager haste to the large 
catapult, crying to the gods to be propitious, regulating the 
range and directing their aim. A rock was placed on the 
beam, the levers tightening the cords at the opposite end until 
they sang. The huge missile, released, flew forth, hurled with 
gigantic power by the beam, and falling into the current astern 

184 



THE TACOATLANTA. 

and beyond the warship, raised a watery column that gleamed 
golden in the blaze of the bonfire. 

But straight at the boom, fretted with moving forms, the 
great hulk rushed, and struck. For an instant she stopped 
dead, her foremast falling with a crash, the bonfire flying in 
lines of light far in advance. A terrible shock convulsed her 
and the boom, and by the faint light of the far-soaring kite the 
watchers could see the causeway was cleared of men as it 
slowly swayed forward, and then, rushing with the stream, 
parted with a great rending, and drifted downwards, divided, 
the Tacoatlanta slowly forging ahead. With gathered speed 
she went onwards again, and dark forms in commotion were 
seen on her bulwarks busy among the floating heads, stabbing 
at them with oars, smashing them with clubs, splitting them with 
swords and spears and axes tied to poles 

Howls of rage rose from both shores at witnessing this daring 
deed. The Amazons yelled their long, clear war-whoop, and a 
formidable sound of beaten bucklers arose as the warriors smote 
them with rage. The leaders held a consultation, fearful of the 
approach of the army of Izta that would destroy the army on 
the farther bank. It was decided to move in force to the fords, 
where, wading to their armpits, they might have a chance of 
boarding and capturing the vessels there, the archers killing the 
rowers and slaughtering the crew by pouring their shafts through 
the port-holes. 

All lay on their arms till dawn, when, with the first light, 
the divided arrays poured flights of missiles on the Tacoatlanta 
as she lay between them, preventing attempts to repair the 
damage of the fallen mast and compelling all to lay beneath 
their shields. Azta, lying in an open palanquin, watched the 
dark vessel and cursed her by all the gods of Zul and the 
demons of darkness. The catapults were prepared for use, not 
being understood by the enemy, who had not fathomed the 
meaning of that watery column that rose so near them in the 
night-attack, and such even as perceived it judging it to be a 
Spirit risen from the wave. Now three of them raised their 
dark beams from the walls, one below and one above the city, 
and the large one that had fired the bolt in the night, the 

185 



ATLANTIS. 

course of which was influenced by other wedges of rock placed 
beneath. 

To an extent the presence of the army on the farther shore 
was comforting, for the ships could not land men to revictual 
the larders, and soon all believed the provisions faiHng would 
cause a retreat if all else failed, for the fish had two much food 
to eat to venture on a hook, the bodies of many warriors 
feasting them to the full. The march to the fords was prepared 
for, where it was hoped to find that the enemy had attempted 
to land, and consequently, wearied with fighting and perchance 
in disorder, would fall an easy prey. 

Camped around fires, the warriors were breaking fast, when 
a shout apprised all that something claimed attention. The 
Mexteo was coming down the river. 

Azta perceived her approach first, and her quick mind 
revolved a scheme. She rose up in her palanquin, raising her 
voice in command to the hastening warriors, her proud head 
raised high and her eyes flaming with enthusiasm. " To the 
catapults!" she cried; and standing to her full majestic height 
at the added height of the shoulders of tall negroes, waved her 
arm with a sweep from horizon to horizon, crying that the 
whole world lay before Huitza and all who followed him. 

Shouts answered her, the warriors declaring her to be a 
goddess, while the artillerists manned the engines, and trumpets 
and drums sounded all over the city. The missiles were fitted, 
and as the galley arrived opposite the machine above the city, 
a huge bolt flew through the air and plunged into the waves 
under her beam, sending a mound of water over her and the 
oars into inextricable confusion. 

A roar of triumph rose from Talascan and the thousands 
beyond the walls who witnessed this. The boat, under confused 
orders, slowly drifted into the very range, and the artillerists, 
shrieking with eagerness and sweating at their work, fitted 
another missile. The army on the farther shore raised howls 
of gleeful jubilation, and the crew of the Tacoatlanta ventured 
from under their shields to watch what might happen. 

With a twang and a whiz the rock sped. The breathless 
thousands watched it as it flew, presenting all sorts of shapes 

1 86 



THE TACOATLANTA. 

in its gyrating path. It fell with a crashing thud on the bulwarks, 
and a shriek of terror, drowned in another prolonged burst of 
exultation, rose as, amid splinters and blood, the water swirled 
into the breach. The warship lurched horribly, but the shouts of 
triumph drowned the shrieks of despair of her heavily-harnessed 
crew, which, falling down the inclining deck, fearfully increased the 
list that the flooding waves gave the vessel. With a lurch forward 
and a heavy roll she turned over, the eddies swirling around her; 
and only her sails on the water, like two great domes with the 
air they enclosed, kept her from completely turning over. 

The Tacoatlanta with grapplers down watched the dire sight. 
Tentativeness changed into the wildest dismay on beholding the 
unfortunate Mexteo wallow and overturn. But for Budil and other 
leaders the crew would have surrendered at once, fearful of such 
fate ; but these, with threats and blows, forced them to hoist the 
sails, while, abandoning the grapplers, the oars beat the water. 

Within range of the catapult below the city a vast missile 
flew forth, striking the mainsail and tearing in from the mast, 
which snapped at the foundations and fell, drenching all with 
bounding waves, heaving the vessel greatly on the swelling 
wash and mingling the oars in confusion. 

Cries of terror arose, drowned by irrepressible shouts of 
enthusiasm from the army. Some of the galley-slaves, mad 
with terror, leaped overboard and dived deeply so that they 
drowned ; upon the catapult a man mounted, waving a cloak and 
gesticulating towards the artillerists, who wound down the great 
beam preparatory for another shot. All down the barricades 
clustered thousands of warriors, and now they began to stream 
through on to the waterway. On the pedestal of the colossus 
Mele, a water-god supporting one end of the architrave shadowing 
the steps of the river gate, stood Toltiah ; on the top step was 
Azta, standing as a goddess in her palanquin, jubilant with triumph, 
who had travelled along the battlements in glorious victory. 

Ignorant of the powers of the dire engine, the enemy believed it 
to be able to follow them up and sink the ship, and terribly alarmed 
by the startling warning they had received, hauled down the remain- 
ing sail ; while a cloak was waved in answer to the one on shore, as 
the great warship sullenly rowed up to the waterway to surrender. 

187 



CAP. VI. 



THE FIRST STEP OF FAME. 



Enthusiastic crowds watched the galley, as, towing the hamper 
of two masts she came up and struck. There was no need for 
grapplers : hundreds of hands clutched and held her, warriors 
swarmed over the bulwarks, and but for the authority of the 
chiefs she would have been sunk by sheer weight of numbers. 

The crew landed, among them being a few of the notables 
of Zul, come on what they had deemed a pleasurable trip. 
Not a few were wounded by the fury of the night-surprise and 
the ceaseless missiles of the army; most of these were secretly 
murdered and with those who were already dead thrown over- 
board ; while the warriors, enraged by the mischief wrought, 
hanged the Captain Budil from his own masthead. The body, 
barbarously profaned in the market-place, had the head struck 
oft", the which was sent by a tall hunter to be cast into Zul in 
token of what would befall when Toltiah were master. A score 
of the Mexteo's crew, clinging to their wreck, were killed with 
sling-shots and arrows ; while, under pretence of enrolment with 
the conquering legions, all the crew of the Tacoatlanta, together 
with those notables, were overcome by violence and murdered 
in a place beyond the walls. 

And now all was bustle again and a rush of preparation for 
the interrupted passage of the army to be continued before the 
other war-ships might appear. All thoughts of gratitude to the 
gods were forgotten. Boats carried ropes across the river from 
bank to bank, and the wrecks of the two booms were by them hauled 
together and secured. Nezca's spies, looking in far-reaching 
circles for Izta, gave yet no sign of his approach ; and now, 
crowding the boom and on rafts and boats, and thousands 
swimming, the army crossed ; and the menace of the approaching 

i88 



THE FIRST STEP OF FAME. 

one, albeit disciplined and terrible, lost its sting. The ill-fated 
Mexteo, smashed and waterlogged, was drawn up to the waterway 
and secured, to be raised again as soon as preparations were 
ready; while a catapult was fitted on the Tacoatlanta and her 
masts replaced, the body of Budil being suspended by the heels 
from the foremast. Her management was left to the Talascans, 
who were used to the sea and river, and Akin commanded 
them. 

The boom was crowded with arrogant conquerors, and in the 
sunny streets of Talascan women and children swarmed again, the 
fear of violence removed. They laughed and chatted and gazed 
with awe on the tall catapults, revering them as gods. To the 
populace the name of Huitza was a power in itself, for besides 
being that of a popular hero, it was, with Tekthah and Rhadaman, 
one of the three that reminded the people of the old days and 
the glory of the land. Shar-Jatal was hated as a brother who 
had objectionably seized a sire's power, and Izta, his right hand, 
was hated likewise for his upstart insolence and tyrannies ; while 
Japheth was lauded with mighty enthusiasm, being called saviour 
of Talascan and Wielder of the bolts of the gods. 

But on Azta and Toltiah the regards of the people were 
poured with a frenzied enthusiasm, and images were made of 
them and sold to be worshipped. And now with levers and 
inflated skins, (the people hauling on ropes,) the Mexteo was 
turned on her proper side, and, the water being bailed out, 
floated in ordinary fashion upon the water, the breach being 
repaired by skilled men and everything set in order. There 
were many bodies of drowned warriors within her, but these 
were flung with scant ceremony to the waves, while jubilant 
Talascans ran freely from bank to bank over the causeway. 
On this a catapult was constructed to hurl a volley of missiles, 
but at the first trial the levers broke and hurried violent death 
to many, nor was it until much time had passed that confidence 
in it was restored. 

In the darkness of the night one of the two warships by the 
fords came down the river to see if aught had occurred, and 
dimly perceiving the Tacoatlanta, rowed up to her. Whose 
crew, also understanding what the crew of the galley took to 

189 



ATLANTIS. 

be the case, permitted the approach, and grappling her, made 
an easy capture ; and thus Toltiah possessed three of the four 
vessels of the armada, and the people rejoiced greatly. 

With the dawn of the next day the three warships sailed up 
the river, the great Tacoatlanta displaying at her fore the ill- 
fated Budil, dead ; and at noon perceived where the rafts lay, 
and the other galley. The landing at the fords had been bar- 
ricaded with pointed stakes and piles of wood, which in places 
showed where the devices of the enemy had fired it. These, 
believing the approaching ships to be full of their friends, shouted 
to them, and the crews replied; the while surrounding the galley, 
which was named the Tzan, the one captured being named 
Tizin. The vessel, being thus hemmed in, would have surrend- 
ered, but the savage attackers would take no tameness like this, 
and pouring over the sides, killed every man on board. Yet 
they too suffered in a great measure, for the Tzan's crew fought 
furiously as long as there was a man left. 

The Axatlans and all those which were sent down to aid , 
them were greatly enthusiastic seeing how things ran, and began 
to pour missiles upon the crowded rafts, of which there were 
three. These, with hot haste, began to make for the farther 
bank, but the crew of the Tacoatlanta, perceiving this, prepared 
to fall upon them, fitting also a missile on the catapult. This 
plunged between two of them, causing a great wash of water 
and much consternation ; but they redoubled their efiforts to 
escape as the huge galley bore down on them. 

She struck the first with a devastating crash, again sending 
the foremast, with its horrid burden, overboard, with much 
havock to the bulwarks ; but cutting this adrift, continued on, 
and by the crew going astern, in order to raise the long bows, 
the second raft was completely submerged beneath the mighty 
bulk of the vessel. 

The river was crowded with heads and shoulders. Half- 
drowning men plunged about in their harness, making for the 
farther bank ; but mad with excitement, the light warriors of 
Axatlan swam like fierce sharks after them, and the Mexteo and 
Tizin, victorious, came along, towering from the crimson waves. 
1 he high lacoatlanta bore down on the third raft, and its crew, 

190 



THE FIRST STEP OF FAME. 

perceiving this, and how merciless were their enemies, prepared 
to surrender their lives dearly ; and as the dark mass reached 
them they leaped like cats upon the sides, or, clinging to the 
oars, thrust their spears through the port-holes to slay the rowers. 

So furious was the attack and so desperate were the doomed 
warriors that, had there but have been the Tacoatlanta to con- 
tend with, the chances would have halted for a space. But the 
Mexteo and the Tzan bore down among the strugghng men, 
and the fierce Axatlans swam and dived among them, stabbing 
their bewildered foemen on all sides, and many a haughty 
legionary died there in the crimson water. Not one escaped, 
for the swimming pursuers darted about and cut off every fugitive 
that the warships, awkwardly handled and fouling one another, 
could not get near. 

Joyful messengers carried news of the victory to Toltiah, and 
vast rejoicings celebrated the return of the warships. The 
conquest of Zul appeared to be but a little thing to all that 
had been already accomplished, and it was greatly wished that 
Izta's army would appear. 

Arrangements were made for the great march to the capital 
a large guard being left behind for the protection of Talascan, and 
another at the fords, in the event of Izta slipping past their flank. 
Messengers were sent to all the cities far and near to bid as 
many as were able to come from their walls, to join the march- 
ing army; and these spread the certain news of the coming of 
Huitza and of the great successes that had attended him thus 
far. The armada was to stay in the river, guarding causeway 
and fords, and the former was not to be destroyed unless very 
seriously aiding a siege. Indeed it was well defended, for in 
addition to the catapult below the city that would keep rafts 
from coming up the river — unless, comprehending it, they forsook 
the centre of the stream for the farther side — there was that 
one in the midst of it, now faced to the shore from the city, 
that threw many bolts at once. Also messengers could always 
be landed by night to carry news to the army if necessary ; 
yet those left behind thus were greatly discontented, and only 
on agreement of equal shares of spoil with the rest would they agree. 

But the army refused to move without its women, loud demands 

191 



ATLANTIS. 

being made to bring them out from the city and the camp, 
and mocking insolence being cast at the leaders, who had 
brought their harems with them. The hunters and the more 
savage tribes were particularly clamorous, and the more degraded 
thousands became riotous. In vain their leaders explained the 
hindrance of a female following; they swore by all their gods 
they would not march without them, nor were the trained legion- 
aries less obstinate. A body of the rabble suddenly attacked 
the camp of the Amazons, where was Azta with the wives and 
mistresses of Chanoc, Noah, and other chiefs, and this resulted 
in a furious and determined battle on both sides, which might 
have ended with dire results, for the rabble was largely rein- 
forced continuously. 

The Amazons fought with a noble fury free from any trace 
of fear, defending their terrified charges well and dealing death 
with their great axes ; yet, fearful, I summoned Toltiah, who 
with his chiefs and Nezca's warriors, propitiated, attacked the 
rebels in the rear and drove them before their onslaught on to 
the vengeful weapons of their foes in front, all who escaped 
being publicly tortured before the army as an example to others. 

Hut advised by Azta, Toltiah gave the army its women, 
which as they came over made a large crowd of themselves. 
There was a great wonderment at the delay of Izta's army, 
and the Tzantans wished to wait for it, feehng secure with the 
catapults and warships behind them, and mistrusting the quality 
of their vast armament. In the centre were the guards of 
Nezca and Chanoc, the Amazons were to the rear of these. 
Right and left were immense bodies of archers, spearmen and 
slingers, and unnumbered tribes and thousands of irregular 
warriors, hunters and savages. The forests here would prove 
a fearful trap for the advancing army, but by no signs of the 
flights of birds or animals, nor by far-circHng scouting-parties 
could they perceive it. 

The primitive hunters thought that the gods had devoured 
them, and the superstition of all was greatly exercised con- 
cerning this thing. Yet in the inaction an apathy began to 
settle down over all, and Toltiah, under pretence of visiting 
Azta, dallied long with Marisa, leader of the Amazons, and 

192 



THE FIRST STEP OF FAME. 

wasted long whiles in foolishness with Azca, who was of great 
beauty, while the warriors gambled with their gold and metal 
ornaments, with their arms and armour, and with their women. 
They held gross competitions among themselves and shouted 
continually out of wantonness. There were jugglers among them 
and sword-swallowers, men who devoured fire, and women who 
stood naked, wreathed in flames and uttering incantations. 
Many were murdered and their bodies flung to the waves, 
and women giving birth to children killed them that they might 
not be troubled with them on the march. Sometimes bands 
of men were decoyed into a wild spot and killed, that their 
women might be obtained by the murderers, nor did the chiefs 
scruple to use this end to their enjoyment. 

Also I looked upon a fearful sight, where many of the 
hybrid savages, hungry for food, crossed the river to where 
that crew of the Tacoatlanta was killed, and fed themselves 
upon such stark bodies as the wolves and vultures had left. 
Yet it was not much, for vast numbers of animals hung on 
the outskirts of the army, and overhead the eagles and vultures 
sailed in circles ; but beneath the pile of bodies lay some un- 
touched, and these the dark beings, rooting Hke hogs in the 
putrid mass, pulled forth and ate. 

At length a captain of the archers, by name Maxo, dis- 
appeared, and the fear of what inaction would lead to terrified 
the leaders, so that the order was given to march. With 
scouts and flanking parties and a loose array of thousands of 
the irregular warriors leading, to throw the enemy into con- 
fusion when they came upon him, the forward movement began. 
Drums beat and whistles and trumpets shrilled above the shouts 
and songs, as with the war-cry of " Huitza and Zul ! " the 
march to the Throne of Atlantis commenced. 

And I, brooding upon the banks of the Hilen, rested in 
thought and looked around by night, when the bright stars 
reflected themselves in the quiet waters, with only the long 
boom and the shadowy masses of Talascan to speak of the 
presence of man. Yet thence methought I heard a shriek, and 
on the water were voices and soft moans, and many spiritual 
appearances. I longed for rest, for the sweet innocent love of 

193 13 



ATLANTIS. 



such an one as Susi, whose pure face was ever before my mind 
with its deep, serious eyes, chiding my presence here. Yet 
with a fierce pang of anguish I turned me to contemplate Azta, 
my Love ! I would not own to my mind that she did not love 
me. and thus I ever hoped and believed in a lie ; and, yearning 
for the innocent and mighty joy and power of past times, could 
not leave her. What should happen now.-^ I dared not consider 
the apparent character of Toltiah, her son and mine, nor what 
should come of it ; I dared not pray to that Throne that ruled 
the Worlds to aid my Earthly love. 

And thus I sat and pondered on that starry night, what 
time Toltiah marched with his legions to the conquest of Atlantis. 



CAP. VII. 



HUITZA AND TERROR. 



In Zul Shar-Jatal lay, surrounded by myrmidons and syco- 
phants, yet standing uneasy beneath the crown and the great 
power that he felt himself unable to administer. From all 
the Imperial province of Hava the warriors of every city had 
been forced to the capital, lying in great camps within the walls 
and happy with the thought of great pillage over all the land, 
when they should march forth to conquer. But among the 
chiefs Acoa spread dissensions and thereby weakened the power 
of Shar-Jatal, there being also many of the haughty lords and 
ladies who plainly regarded him as an upstart, and only trusted 
to his cleverness to save them now from the vengeance of that 
prince whom terrifying rumour said again led the armies of the 
land. Handsome, vain and licentious, the usurper was withal 
indolent, and became greatly embittered by reason of the loss 
of his hand. The only one who bore a real regard for him for 
his own sake was Pocatepa, the wife of Ju, whom also Mah 
held in some thrall ; and with a wicked passion she loved him, 
greatly upholding his power by her arts. More than all the 
rest was she disturbed at the rumour that Azta was in Talascan, 
because she knew Shar-Jatal loved the Tizin and that her power 
was very great in the land, all believing her to be under the 
special protection of Zul, and a goddess ; thus, inwardly deplor- 
ing the weakness of her chosen lord, she stirred him up to 
resist the failings of his nature, to take his power and dispense 
it as became the Tzan of Atlantis and master of a headstrong 
nation threatened with dissolution. 

She held her lord completely by her willing pandering to his 
wishes, and both that twain were much discussed for their 
licences and wantonness. But they feared the friends of Ju. 

195 



ATLANTIS. 

particularly the chiefs Zebra, Eliaz, Ombar and Eto-masse, who 
were powerful among all such as lived by the sea and all sailor- 
men, and whom they durst not put away secretly, (for already 
there was great disgust at many such proceedings,) and were 
uneasy and amazed as the time passed with no message of the 
sack of Talascan. Tek-Ra was in ruins and soon would Azco 
be brought in chains from Trocoatla to answer for his insolent 
rebellion; but, before that, Talascan must fall, Shar-Jatal's 
territory being far off. 

Yet the Tzan's love for his mistress grew colder as a horror 
settled down upon him and a great distrust to every person. 
For Pocatepa warned him of Acoa, whom he relied upon greatly, 
and the thought came to him that the falling of the Solar symbol 
upon the throne had turned the regards of this one against 
him. Of a night the spirit of Azta appeared to him and fearful 
larvae haunted his dreams : the shade of Huitza threatened him 
with atrocious gestures, and in sweating horror he perceived a 
whirling sword menace his life. 

An uneasiness spread abroad as there came no news of Izta 
or Rudil. and a gloom that was of unquiet consciences sprang up 
and lay over all. Everybody feared a certain vengeance for 
the sins of past years : the services to Zul were conducted fer- 
vently and the evil crowds bowed down before their divinities, 
performing those rites which were abominable and obscene, 
prostituting themselves to their own foul creations. In the 
silence they perceived an approaching Terror, and committed 
vast excesses, hoping to make up by the exhausting and reckless 
enjoyment of to-day for what awful thing might come 
to-morrow. 

And Mall, mindful also of his ambition to become ruler in 
Zul and the first of a Priestly line, persuaded to his scheme a 
great multitude of other j^riests and as many foUoweis as they 
could collect for the purpose of seizing the power when oppor- 
tunity offered, which plan came to the ears of Acoa, who 
was not unwilling that there should be dissension in the city, 
for the army there was very strong and there was much mate- 
rial of war and many engines; so that any civil strife would 
greatly weaken them. And the plan being ripe, Pocatepa was 

196 



MUITZA AND TERROR. 

summoned by Mali and bidden to administer to her lord a 
certain potion that would destroy him. 

But alone with him in their apartments her heart failed her 
because of the love she had for him, and summoning the Cap- 
tain of the Guard, whose name was Bel, she bade him see the 
watch was well kept, and adjured him on his life to seize any 
loiterer by the palace, whomsoever it might be. Whereat Shar- 
Jatal was greatly disturbed and demanded what such orders 
might portend. 

"My dear lord," said the weird woman, smiling on him, 
"this day would I show thee how my love for thee triumphs 
over all considerations of power. Watch thou!" 

Now it was the time of sunset, and on a mirror of polished 
gold the great light flashed, dazzling and beauteous, glittering 
also on a black veil covered with bright metal stars that over- 
shadowed the flashing circle. From the ceiling there hung dia- 
phanous draperies like clouds, and cabalistic symbols were set 
on the walls ; upon a pedestal sat a huge black ape, and beneath, 
in chains, was crouched a human figure with the head enclosed 
in a bronze cage. This was old Na, on whom the dire sorceress 
had rivetted the incubus because of her refusal to concoct certain 
subtle perfumes that Azta was envied for, and this cage pre- 
vented any free movement on the part of the old woman. 

Pocatepa, wearing the mystic insignia of Neptsis, reclined on 
a throne-like seat, of which the arms were carven to represent 
a large sort of beetle that came up, shining, from the earth of 
a night to fly in circles ; which also was her Divinity, her slaves 
and guards wearing its emblem upon them. Her footstool 
was a block of marble formed to represent the same insect, 
and over it lay a cloth covered with scales of innumerable 
elytra; of the real beetle and irridescent with bright stones. 
Behind the throne was a mystic circle of luminous atoms, the 
centre representing the moon, and thousands of stars fiUing the 
circumference ; yet only I knew the awful significance of what 
the daring idea pretended. 

The lady summoned a slave, commanding him to strike from 
off the head of Na the bronze cage, which, being done, the old 
woman stood forth free. Half she hoped her mistress had 

197 



ATLANTIS. 

caused this, and on her wrinkled face was a smile as she waited 
what should come. 

"Come hither," said Pocatepa, her harsh voice attuned to 
sweetness ; " come and drink to my lord and me from this 
golden goblet that shall usher in thy freedom. See, my lord, 
in her hands I place the cup, and soon perchance shall we 
envy the lot of this old slave." 

Amazed at her words, the bowed woman took the massy cup, 
brimmed with generous wine, yet methinks she drank a curse 
to the pair instead of a blessing, as Pocatepa threw herself back 
against her uneasy lord and watched with an evil glitter in 
her eyes. 

Na dropped the bowl and her sunken eyes grew large as 
they rested on the sorceress before her. She swayed and sank 
to the ground, and in an instant a slight froth rose to her lips 
and the golden skewer through her nostrils was flecked with 
tiny drops of blood. So she stayed, dreadful in silent immo- 
bility, and then Pocatepa spoke. • 

" She hath passed, my lord, and is free, whilst ourselves — " 

"What is this, woman!" demanded the Tzan, clutching the 
hilt of his sword, and greatly dismayed. 

His mistress cast herself upon him, kissing his lips and caress- 
ing him. " Fear not," she said, " the danger is passed, and 
what might have come to thee love hath turned aside": and 
to him she revealed the heavy plot of Mah ; while I, watching 
her amorous play, wondered why only to me should no love 
be given. 

And of her sort Pocatepa was fair to look upon. Clad in a 
black, transparent mantle, her eyes more brilliant than the shining 
l^lates on her forehead and of a mystic fascination, with bright 
diamonds gleaming in her teeth, she appeared as a goddess, yet 
of evil. Her breasts were bare, the mantle gathered closely 
beneath them by a belt covered with symbols; her arm was 
encircled by a living snake, fastened by tiny gold skewers and 
rings, and tremulating occasionally, causing myriads of little gems 
with which it was studded to scintillate, whilst its forked tongue 
waved incessantly. 

The Tzan suffered her caresses sullenly, fearing her somewhat, 

198 



HUITZA AND TERROR. 

and uneasy at his position, yet shamelessly she importuned his 
embraces. Suddenly it grew dark, and in the darkness I saw 
Acoa as before I had seen him appear to Azta. The two people 
gazed around, believing some power of Mah to be upon them, 
and thinking the potency of the poison in the dead slave at 
their feet to be rising to their brains, yet hoping it to be but 
the coming of night. 

Still the darkness seemed to roll down in palpitating waves, 
almost visible, and the throne-like settee, from which they had 
arisen, stood out gradually in fearful relief against a background 
of phosphorescent light in which circles seemed to revolve all 
ways. To their sudden fright at such proximity they perceived 
a figure seated there, which forbade them to stir ; directing their 
attention to where a clear round of brightness showed the mirror 
standing, untouched by the surrounding obscurity. Whispers, as 
of voices, floated through the air, and a blast of deadly chill 
made the terrified pair shiver, while an impression that the 
figure, in the proportions of a giant, huge, black, awful, had 
arisen and was regarding them, held them spell-bound. Their 
hairs crept and t)ie blood ran cold at their hearts, as their eyes, 
dazzled by the luminous appearances and the moving blackness, 
fixed themselves on the clear bright surface of the mirror that 
appeared to regard them as a great eye, their straining optics 
directed and focussed by the darkness around until it seemed 
as though they gazed down a tunnel into a very bright place. 
The mind contracted itself to this observation alone, and with 
all their souls they stared at the disc of glowing light that 
claimed the attention irresistibly. 

The darkness around gave place to another phenomenon, that 
was not light, for there were no shadows and nought was visible, 
yet was no longer darkness, for a bright atmosphere assimilated 
itself with the brightness of the mirror. There was a feeling 
of the spirit standing alone in infinite space, expectant: a 
possession of fear, a wish to be elsewhere, as an impression of 
passing long periods was apparent. Years, centuries, appeared 
to roll by, unmarked, unbounded; there was nought to start 
from, nothing to be reached; only a knowledge of life in a 
glowing atmosphere, a sensation of wonder and waiting; and 

199 



ATI.ANTIS. 

through it all the circle of light compelled the terrified attention 
that strained every tight nerve to concentrate itself yet more 
fully in a fearful effort of contemplation. 

On rushing pinions the soul sped to the centre of potential 
attraction, yet never reaching it: on and onward with panting 
heart and vast exhaustion, striving with bursting nerves to 
reach a point whence came sounds less dream-like every instant, 
and certain complications of vague movement. 

As if a veil had been lifted away the sounds deepened and 
a Thing was visible, wavy and shadowy — a mass; indefinable 
and nebulous. The atmosphere shook and a figure stood forth, 
vast, grisly and of faint outlines ; a larva that overpowered by 
the horrid sensation of being in the presence of a floating cloud 
of black immensity with the knowledge that this dread thing 
was a man. The weird horror was overpowering ; it would 
suffocate, overwhelm in oceans of air and in silence made awful 
by the movements that caused no sound. 

The glow had given place to a pale green brightness : the 
vague shadow slowly took shape and form and the outlines 
appeared, human, yet how vast and unnatural ! These contracted 
and the shadow darkened. 

An appearance as of a stroke of lightning sprang from 
obscurity and vanished : the figure seemed to move and stretch 
its limbs as awakening from sleep, and, in an increasing light 
that brought out its features with distinctness, to turn its face 
on the expectancy. The eyes opened, the lips compressed 
themselves tightly as a frown settled on the face, and the 
Tzantan Muitza looked again forth in human guise. 

A long shaft quivered through his body, the blood-dripping 
point protruding through his chest. With a movement, as of 
a dream, he drew the weapon from his back, and, poising it, 
cast the long shaft upwards. A flash of brightness fell, dazzling 
and terrible, and a shriek cleft the atmosphere. 



In the streets of Zul was great rioting and disorder, where 
the adherents of Mali and the priests who followed him met 
the legions sent by Shar-Jatal to take them the next morning. 

200 



HUITZA AND TERROR. 

Terrified by the vision he beHeved to have been sent by Mah, 
the Tzan wished to seize him and demand an explanation of it, 
which thing Pocatepa greatly urged ; and for a lesson to all 
whom it might profit to learn, it was commanded that not one 
of the rebeUious people should escape. 

And many, on the appearance of the armed legions, fled and 
disclaimed all knowledge of such a plot, but many joined battle, 
led by priests, and very furious in fanaticism. 

There were huge missiles cast from roofs that crushed many, 
and long streams of blood trickled down the streets, but the 
warriors of the Tzan overcame the rioters, putting them to the 
sword ; and as many of them as escaped fled to the temple of 
Neptsis, which was accounted a sanctuary for the vanquished 
and such as would plead for life. But Shar-Jatal, reckless in 
his wrath and terror, caused them to be slain, and the blood 
of scores drenched the outraged altar of the goddess until all 
had ceased to live. And among them were many of the eunuch 
priests of Zul, but none could find Mah. 

The city was uneasy by reason of this thing and many others, 
and in the evening the people discussed many things concerning 
the rebellion and the massacre of the priests of their gods. 
They were much exercised in their minds also by the lack of 
news from before Talascan, to where swift messengers had been 
sent ; for they believed that the great army of Izta and the 
warships of Budil should by this have returned triumphant 
with great numbers of captives and much spoil. They vowed 
oblations to the gods and told how the altars of Zul should 
smoke with grateful sacrifices, for Acoa had said there should 
be vengeance taken for the murder of men who ministered to 
the gods. 

Yet the warriors by the walls sang lewd songs, unheeding, 
and talked profanely among themselves of the same subjects. 
A group sat recounting what they would do when the rebel 
cities were conquered, and disclosed the grossness of their 
minds by rehearsing tortures, and what would happen to this 
one and that, and laying indecent bets on various performances 
that they would undertake. Something fell by them with a 
thud, and, looking up quickly, they perceived a long spear 

201 



ATLANTIS. 

quivering in the ground; and, gyrating around it, a human 
head, fastened by the long, thick hair. 

It was the head of Budil, and dismay fell on the city. 

And all, remembering the rumour concerning Huitza, and 
fearful that they, the attackers, might well become the attacked, 
forsook their waning arrogance concerning the conduct of the 
war. Hurried councils were held, whereat it was commanded 
that the huge granaries of the city should be filled, and flocks 
and herds from without should be driven in. The bolder ones 
were minded to go forth and avenge the insult, yet on all 
men's hearts lay the fear of treachery and unscrupulous ambition ; 
and at all councils were many dissentient voices to every scheme 
of safety, mocking at caution. 



202 



CAP. VIII. 



A VISION OF WARNING. 



With songs and merriment Toltiah's army marched onward, 
drums, whistles and all manner of instruments of music sounding, 
wild and discordant, above the tramp of myriad feet, waving 
spear-points scintillating like gems above the moving masses, 
o'ertopped by all sorts of standards and rallying-poles of various 
tribes. Reinforcements joined them occasionally, and thousands 
of wolves and wild dogs followed the march, while overhead 
ever hung that winged army of fierce birds which all believed 
would carry the souls to the Sun. With the Amazons went 
Azta in her slung couch, accompanied by Toltiah and some of 
the Tzantans and a great number of messengers. 

They passed rapidly along, camping around villages by river- 
banks or on plains, where hasty shelters were erected for the 
Tizin and one or two of the more luxurious among them. The 
women following the army shared the hardships and the stony 
couches of the men, and a few joined the ranks of the Amazons ; 
yet such were very few, tor the manner of living of these 
women-warriors was hard, and one among them was put to 
death for a violation of chastity that would have passed as 
nought among the women of the towns. 

Now in the distress of my thoughts I had held myself from 
Azta; yet not blaming her for my sorrow, which was caused 
by myself, but because I cared not to force her regards. 
Therefore I kept aloof in a great measure, concerned by sad 
thoughts, unfitted for Earth and fallen from Heaven. And in 
those days I loved the sea, for in its restless waves was my 
soul comforted, and its voice cried to me from wind-kissed 
wave-top and hidden depth of unknown mystery. Vet my 
passion for Azta tormented me, and one night I came in to 

203 



ATLANTIS. 

her, the army being encamped among uncouth ruins that caused 
much amaze, herself being beneath a canopy. All around 
blazed the innumerable fires of the multitudes, who pulled down 
the luxuriant vegetation hiding up the old places that but few 
of the hunters even knew of; and among the high mounds 
many believed there lurked the larvse of that ancient people 
whose existence they perceived in the ruins by sundry rude 
weapons of war. 

I looked upon my Love with the same wild, deep yearning 
as of old, and perceived her to be affrayed at my presence, 
whereat I grieved sadly. 

"Be not in fear of me, O my Love 1 " I cried, embracing 
her tenderly ; " have we not conversed enough for thee to trust 
in mer I will not force thee, my Azta ; neither indeed can I, 
for the heart that is not fully given is not given at all, and 
though for a few brief moments our souls mingled, yet thou 
canst never love me." 

"Yet I do love thee. Beloved." Her words faltered under 
my stern and searching glance that pierced her soul as the eyes 
of the angels Zora and Zar^bel sought in the tombs for what 
the professions denied. Kneeling beside her, I kissed her forehead 
with a chaste salute and took her hand in mine. 

She looked out to where in the flickering fire-light dark 
shadows stalked slowly at times across the space of vision, 
and imperiously bade the young slave-girl who combed her 
hair, retire. 

"O Asia," she said, "to-night my thoughts go very deep and 
I would speak to thee, whom I fear not; yet when I see thy 
tall form come with such stately stride and such solemn majesty 
something terrifies me. Nay, hear me," she said, as I made as 
though to speak ; " tonight, I know not why, I think of that 
night on which I fir.st saw thee Yonder shines the moon as 
it shone then, and still those spirits fly, perchance the same 
ones, in the mystic shadows ; yet then I fretted with vain hopes 
and impotent ideas that now will be fulfilled. For see, poor 
Love, in this strange being that is our child hast thou given 
me an accomplished ambition to thine own disastrous cost, for 
also as thou art ever before my mind's eye, majestic, silent and 

204 



A VISION OF WARNING. 

sublime, I see in thine eyes the soul's agony, (which I know,) 
the hopeless, despairing horror of one who looks on the heart 
and only sees there a forced sentiment that dies in the absence 
of its object. In Toltiah I see Huitza, the one who aroused 
in my bosom a passion pure, strong and unconquerable, and 
at times methinks he is in verity a reincarnation of my Love, 
a child of Zul, grand beyond Earth, almost as thyself. Yet 
have we many loves and next to this comes the love of thee, 
who deserves of me the most that I can give, a better love 
than any that Earth could offer." 

She ceased and a shudder passed through her, great sobs 
broke from her heart. The barriers of my callousness were 
broken down. 

" O God I O God 1 " I cried in the torture of hell, " behold, 
I love thee more than all the times before!" A long time 
passed in horror and darkness, a period of wild, awful grief, 
where embracing one another we wept. Ah, the hopelessness 
of Earth ! The subtlety of Souls 1 My Love's words misjudged 
me, for though I deserved her love I had forsaken my own 
fealty to Heaven to strive to obtain it ; and now. Ruler of the 
Worlds! I had lost all! 

And thus we stayed until Toltiah prayed admittance from 
without, and entering in all his splendour of person stared to 
perceive me. 

"Welcome, my child," I said, with a bitter gnawing pain at 
my heart, noting how the moonlight shone on his ruddy mane 
that fell over his breast and shoulders. He blushed deeply at 
the hesitance of address, and bowed low in somewhat awed 
salutation, yet with a certain hauteur; and because of the place 
wherein we were encamped I was minded to show a thing. 

"Thou hast attained to a great station, O youth," I said, 
" wherein lies much danger to such whose inclinations tend to 
evil and unseemly ambition, and whose ardour overruns experience. 
Great indeed canst thou reign, leader of a free and enlightened 
people, if thou wilt follow the laws of Jehovah, the God of thy 
fathers and of me. Cast pride away from thee, for of what 
may mortal man boast himself? Body and estate are given and 
taken away, and for gifts should such be thankful, remembering 

205 



ATLANTIS. 

they are bestowed by One who can remove them at will. 
For consider ! Thou wert a babe, or beautiful or hideous it were 
not thy making; naked, than didst not clothe thyself; mighty 
or of no account, it was written so in Heaven; dead, thou 
canst not aid thy Soul, nor will thy God-given Talents do aught 
but demand of thee for why they were used this way or that, 
save it is in the way of the meaning of thy Creator, to whom 
thou art in debt for all." 

Toltiah hung his head, but an inner anger overspread his 
countenance, and looking upon him, I felt wrath to perceive a 
mortal so arrogant. 

"This night," I said^ "will I show thee a thing for a warning 
and an example, and to thee also, O Queen. Look upon the 
mounds. They are the past dwellings of a race that lived long 
centuries before the foot of Adam pressed Eden's soil. Come 
and see what may be revealed concerning them who followed 
not the plan of God on Earth, thereby causing confusion." 

I looked on them with the look of power that compels the 
mind of man, so that they believed themselves to stand upon 
a mound, and, gazing around, noted that they were the only 
people in sight and the time was of noon. The army was gone, 
and in their ears that which seemed to be rather a thought 
than a voice spoke : 

"What matter? Men come and go, and the great event of 
yesterday is a fading remembrance of to-day, a sentiment of 
absolute indifference. Only God and Love go on for ever." 

They looked upon one another, yet without emotion, and 
gazed around on the mounds, nor were surprised to perceive a 
large structure of stones and rock near them. Upon this a 
figure of human outlines squatted without motion, and they even 
deemed it dead; but as Toltiah made a step towards it the 
creature fled with precipitancy, seeming to doubt whether to 
escape to some holes near by in a hill, or to caves formed 
by huge masses of stone builded one upon another. On 
perceiving no pursuit it returned to the stone structure, uttering 
a loud cry. 

Other cries answered, and several figures ran past them, of 
great size and bulk, most of them larger than Toltiah, leaping 

206 



A VISION OF WARNING. 

with great speed on hands as well as feet. One stopped near 
the pile, regarding them fixedly with an eye that looked forth 
from the back of its head, x which, slightly moving, gave to 
the weird orb a rolling movement. It was a human-like creature 
of uncouth and vast muscular development, with enormous feet 
and long arms, and clothed all over with red hair; and thus it 
rested with its back to them, ready to fly to its retreat. 

The watchers stood still, and presently from similar erections 
all around other forms issued, vast and weird, most moving 
backward, ready to run again to the caves, but the bolder 
faced them. Some carried huge clubs, and amongst them were 
beings of monstrous growths and frightful aspects, half human 
and half animal, which uttered strange cries. 

** Behold," the voice said, "the disorder of Earth and to what 
things the violence of Man leads him ; his thoughts ever tend 
to evil and to the working of iniquity, and how can the purpose 
of God be fulfilled when His laws are set at nought?" 

Then appeared a great shadow, moving rapidly upon the 
earth, and looking up they perceived a winged creature of the 
shape of the animals that lived in the Hilen river. Azta cried 
put to me to save them, while Toltiah loosened his sword and 
grasped his spear firmly, advancing his shadowy buckler. 

"Fear not," I said to my Love; "yet now does thine heart 
know that I can protect thee more than this one which is half 
of Earth." 

"In thy love I trust," she said. 

"It is well," I answered her; "and ever in thy nature shall 
there war distinctly the Spirit and the Flesh. Yet watch further." 

The inhabitants of the stone city had all vanished as the 
winged beast swooped. It was a marine animal, /3 and Azta, 
looking through an opening in the masses of stone, perceived 

X This third optic has been often stated by modem writers to have existed in 
archaic man, the seat of it being the pineal gland. Dr. Carter Blake of the 
London Anthropological Society tells us that Palaeontology has ascertained that 
there was actually a third real organ of vision among the animals of the Cenozoic 
age, and especially the Saurians, a fact upheld by Sir Richard Owen, who points 
out its presence in many fossil animals. 

^ An entirely unrecognisable species. If allied to the Pterodactyle, it would 
carry man's antiquity very far back, 

207 ' 



ATLANTIS. 

the scintillating glitter of wavelets, and fancied she heard the 
roar of the surf beating on an iron-bound shore. As though 
conscious of a certain anxiety she glanced around in search of 
something she could not give form to. 

But now the inhabitants of the stone caves had crept forth 
with stealth upon the beast. Two huge clubs, simultaneously 
applied, blinded it, and with uncouth cries it rose into the air, 
falling with a tempest of beating pinions, amid streams of 
blood, among the rocks, where it was despatched with cruel 
weapons. 

"Thou seest that without these caves man could not live among 
such beasts as the one thou hast seen," I said : " it is his nature 
to live in colonies together and to build cities; yet, with vague 
longings for grandeur, which is of the soul, he combines the 
body of an animal smaller and feebler than the brute beasts, 
but directed to violence by skill of imagination. And see the 
pity of it! that mind that should steer to great accomplishments, 
disregarding the laws of Nature that serve for a mind to the 
beasts, is exerted to commit all manners of confusion. See 
how he would pervert the ordinances of the Creator!" 

Azta looked and perceived horrible shapes that basked in 
the sun, being scarce human. She understood that a period 
had passed, and these abortions were the offspring of foul 
unions, their vague eyes lacking any emotion ; which thing 
would in course of time, affect all creation. One came forth, 
bearing a small new-born monster, which by-and-by it dashed 
upon the ground and proceeded to tear hmb from limb to 
devour, others coming up likewise for the horrid repast. 

With curdling blood Azta turned to me. " Such was the 
world," I said, "before Adam; one long series of evolutions, 
of failure through sin, of destruction and re-creation. See, the 
end of this degenerate race is come!" 

Water trickled between the rocks, running and falling, while 
around was an amorphous darkness that had come instantly and 
yet seemed to have been gathering for a long period, and in 
the water a long way off lay a fearful vision. A long dark 
body, motionless and phosphorescent; a giant shark whose evil 
eye looked menace and death, watching and waiting with others 

208 



A VISION OF WARNING. 

the flooding waters, and heedless of the storm. The waves 
swirled in increasing volumes through the rocky interstices, and 
gurgling sounds and little squeaks arose as hundreds of tiny 
monsters were swept out from lower caves where they had been 
hidden. Many hideous females ran forth also, and many that 
were feeble or sick, but the waters surrounded them on all sides. 

Cast down and tossed about, sucked beneath the waves in 
vortices and dashed on rocks, the wretched beings died ; yet 
still hundreds of terrified creatures ran from the caves and 
climbed to the highest rocks, fighting and struggling among 
themselves for any point that offered above the waves. A 
tempest of waters swept down from the sky, and animals 
mingled with human beings in the rush for degraded and 
impossible life. 

A vast creature with floating mane, stranded on the stormy 
waves, beat the waters wildly with distorted limbs, throwing 
them, leaping in torrents of foam in its death-struggles, from a 
trunk that elongated its hybrid head, the while plunging under 
water the strangling forms of smaller beasts and men. The 
shark was among them now, and horrid things that were more 
like vegetables than animals drew down with slimy tentacles 
the miserably struggling creatures beneath the waves en- 
crimsoned with blood. 

Now to the horizon spread a long expanse of heaving waters 
from which all of life had disappeared, save where the fins of 
sharks cut the waves as the monsters searched for more victims. 
The deluge had ceased, and in the waters all was still ; but 
from them seemed to rise larvae of vast shapes, that, spreading 
over all the sky, became clouds. 

"Thus after death alone are such of use," I said, "con- 
tributing to the development of another generation by causing 
the elements of the atmosphere to keep their proper proportions, 
as their bodies nourish the earth." 

The waters subsided and the hills arose, the stony monuments 
erected instinctively by a gregarious race showing above the 
diminished waves. The Earth, pregnant with Ufe that fed full 
on its great feast of animal matter, threw forth vegetation and 
covered them all, 

209 14 



ATLANTIS. 

Another race of men was there, filling all the Earth and 
wondering at the great collections of piled-up rocks and flower- 
grown mounds that no records told of. A camp — the army — 
the dawning day and remembrance of the march on Zul. 

"Now write it in your hearts," said I, "that thou hast looked 
upon the primitive Man, that might have developed and 
grown to give great praise to his Creator, but was hindered by 
his own folly and weakness and was destroyed before he could 
stray yet farther. Unto whom also came Adam, the Last- 
created Man, to lead the way to Heaven. And having thus 
seen, beware ! " 



2IO 



CAP. IX. 



THE MARCH OF TOLTIAH. 



Now there came news of the army of Izta, brought by the 
scouts that were far in advance ofToltiah and his legions, which 
said that the warriors of Zul were encamped in some far-spread- 
ing villages that lay by a river, round a great pallo. The army 
halted and the chiefs held a consultation as to what should be 
done, advising a great attack by night, which, being agreed 
upon, the legions were secretly disposed so that an onslaught 
should be made upon all sides at once, and chiefly was it 
arranged for a great number to surround the pallo and prevent 
any access to so impregnable a citadel whose reduction would 
take many men a long while to accomplish. 

And in the darkness, when Izta's fires blazed afar and the 
wanton legionaries debauched themselves with the enforced 
cheer of the villagers, it was but the myriad-voiced war-whoops 
of their enemies that gave them warning of the portending 
fate ; nor could they, unprepared, withstand the rushing thou- 
sands that poured upon them lying in disorder. The ribald songs 
and merriment were drowned in shouts and the shrieks of 
women, the blazing fires were quenched with spouting blood, 
while round the useless engines of war the corpses lay thickly 
where men gathered as to a standard and fought hard for life. 
The Tzantan Izta with some of his great chiefs, nobles of Zul 
and men of high degree, fought fiercely and slew many of their 
enemies, but the great hordes pressed upon them so that they 
went down in the rush and were seen no more. 

By the lights of flaming huts the combatants fought, but soon 
there was but a great dark field whereon lay dead and dying, 
and in fear the carnage stopped. Only the degraded and 
monstrous savages from afar, that followed the army, crept among 

21 I 



ATLANTIS. 

the bodies to gorge their obscene stomachs on the flesh and 
blood of men and to steal whatsoever they could of what pleased 
their fancy. And the next day, of those left which were unable 
to escape because of the encircling warriors, most were killed, 
but some were taken into the legions of Toltiah. 

There was great joy because of the victory, for many villag- 
ers had escaped upwards into the pallo and served greatly in 
preventing Izta's troops from gaining access to it, being in favour 
of starvation rather than sharing the unhappy fates of their com- 
panions in the lower villages. These rejoiced, being made much 
of as allies in the enthusiasm of victory, and of the enemy there 
were many women captured and engines of siege and much 
store of arms and food and prepared herbs for smoking, and 
luxuries which were distributed all that day ; and in the night, 
when the legions encamped around the flesh-fed bonfires, when 
the swift bats flew above the countless numbers of the living 
and the dead, they drank deep draughts of wine and shouted 
with enthusiasm, toasting their leaders with little stint. 

Thus with great joy was the march resumed, and the kites 
and eagles fed full on the bodies that stayed upon the field. 
The savages were forced to move the engines, being also the 
carriers of stores ; and to the farthest parts were sent more 
messengers to declare victory and demand reinforcements. 

From the West came other companies from Chalac and 
Trocoatla, tall plainsmen, enduring and hardened by border 
warfare, leaving their defended walls ; and many of whole villages 
from there also. They marched beneath the standards of the 
Vulture and the Serpent, and rallied to the cry of the large 
prairie antelope that carried a formidable spiral horn between 
its eyes, the horny base protecting the whole forehead. This 
cry, which was a succession of grunting barks, emitted from 
the vast chest of a Trocoatlan troop-leader, was in itself suf- 
ficient to appal, and the ferocious appearance of these men 
rendered their presence welcome. The warriors of Chalac wore 
a circle of ostrich plumes dyed black at the tips, these nodding 
head-dresses lending to them a terrific aspect of warlike 
majesty, as of a portentious storm-cloud moving along. The 
Governor Iru led these, a squat man of vast build ; those of 

212 



THE MARCH OF TOLTIAH. 

Trocoatla were commanded by the Prince Azco, wearing the 
vulture-winged helmet of a son of Tekthah, between which 
wings was a grand mass of ostrich-feathers. 

Past cities and villages, levying tribute, and through vast 
forests marched the legions, and ever reinforcements followed ; 
for the most remote peoples wished to be present when Zul 
should be sacked, and great hordes of these were of tiny 
stature and monstrous forms, pink-eyed and with spots and 
stripes like the brutes, squeaking and making unseemly noises 
for speech. They fought over the ofifal of the encampments 
with the birds and beasts, and my heart was sore as I looked 
upon these poor little beings brought into a world of lust and 
loathing by the unnamed sins of others. 

By great streams where quaint animals dived beneath the 
waters, and herds of others fled inland, were yet more ruins, 
vast and grotesque, wherein perchance lived, in those days when 
all was huge, some mighty nation that had subjugated all the 
land and then had vanished, and no man might tell whence 
their footsteps had gone. And in the desert were great refuse 
heaps of encampments and vanished towns of the nomad tribes, 
and tall mounds that were like the Pyramids, yet being formed 
of piled-up rocks and stones, upon which many of the army 
that were of the plains cast more stones. And these I learned 
were the rude mausoleums of departed chiefs, and beside them 
were the smaller ones which rose above their wives, being thus 
in the pair, male and female, which God had ordained. And 
the stones, being first cast above the Clay to prevent the wolves 
carrying it off, were greatly added to by all who passed by, 
until at length they became of great height and pyramidal. 
Thus were they copied in such form in stone of comely propor- 
tions for a symbol and a thing of awe ; for indeed there rested 
upon these buildings a vast solemnity as the last of the army 
passed by and left them standing in their solitary state above 
that which looked ever with upturned face to the Heavens. Yet 
few saw them thus, for a thick dark cloud of dust arose behind 
and above the multitudes that spread to the horizon. And 
occasionally also there were tall pallos built upon hills, to which 
their inhabitants fled in fear, leaving their fruitful fields; for 

213 



ATLANTIS. 

such people, cultivating the soil and being always upon the 
same place, (whereby they could easily be found), were preyed 
upon by any nomads who chose. Yet within the strong citadel 
they were safe, for it was well stored with food and watered 
by a stream to which a tunnel led. And these Toltiah compel- 
ling to promise aid in case of retreat, left in safety. 

Past the cities of En-Ra, Sham, and strong Surapa, which 
were in Astra, they went with much misfortune to the inhabi- 
tants and detriment to the flocks and herds. And in those 
days Toltiah became enamoured of Marisa, who led the Amazons, 
notwithstanding that she would have none of him and sought 
to escape from his attentions. And Azta looked favorably on 
her child's desire, pleased that his masculine inclinations should 
prevail, admiring the Amazon and greatly esteeming her, for 
the strange romantic legends of her race caused the Tizin to. 
wish to retain her among the people as an ally. Also her pride 
and love for Toltiah could not brook the thought of an alliance 
with an ordinary woman, or dreadful contingencies that her 
spirit revolted at ; and her eyes, bhnded with arrogance of his 
prowess, could not perceive his leaning to shameful pleasures 
that would supplant all other ambitions. Yet she besought him 
that he would tarry until such time as he was lord of Zul, 
telling him many things concerning the city ; of its power and 
strength and greatness, the multitude of the buildings and the 
beauty of the courts and gardens ; of the sea-moat surrounding 
it and the massy terror of the walls. A little he remembered 
the palace, especially as concerned the thronging stairways and 
the lions that guarded the Hall of the Throne. For Azta had 
ofttimes taken him thither and placed him upon the seat, 
bowing before him in adoration. 

To all these things he listened, and was also greatly advised 
by Noah, who was as a father to him, and his sons as brothers. 
And he regarded them also the more because he had covert 
regards for Susi, the wife of Shem, whom in secret he importuned 
greatly ; whereby he caused the fair woman much sorrow and 
shame, and myself also. For in him I perceived the consumma- 
tion of my sin, and at times could I have slain him, yet I 
dared not. 

214 



ATLANTIS, 

One day a great cry ran through the army, as emerging 
from a forest they perceived very far off a vast white city. 
They ran to high places and climbed trees to gaze upon the 
beauty that crowned the wilderness, howling jubilantly and 
demanding if this were Zul. Most knew it well, the Queen of 
the Waves, that raised her beauteous temples of hidden vice 
from the deep waters ; the savages gazed in fear, the half-wild 
hunters and plainsmen with remembrances of wild enjoy- 
ments on those terraced heights. All thirsted for her painted 
halls and open coffers, her splendour of treasures, and women 
whose wild legends and burning glances given amid scenes of 
furious excitement raised to the wonder of unearthly beings. 
The licentious soldiery dreamed of the charms of queens whose 
exaggerated glories filled them with ecstacy, loaded with jewellery ; 
and they swung their great arms like birds soaring for flight 
as they looked on the walls that stood between them and their 
desires, nor saw in imagination those walls splashed horribly 
with blood —their blood — neither perceived their souls going' 
up to the Sun in the smoke of Zul's diabolical flame. 

Marisa and her warriors gazed with intense curiosity on those 
far walls, laughing with childish glee over the beauty of the 
towering architecture, beating their shields with spear and axe- 
head and smiting their bosoms with open palms in ferocious 
gladness. 

But with what emotions Azta gazed, believing she could 
perceive the long red building that lay beneath the Temple and 
the gardens w^here the fountains played ! Where were the old 
faces now? where old Na? When would it be that she should 
rule the land from that red palace? By her stood Toltiah and 
the family of Noah, Chanoc, Nezca, Nahuasco and many 
Tzantans, and to such as were ignorant of the walls she pointed 
out where the great ports lay, and where the larger buildings. 

The stragglers were hastened up, and the haulers of the huge 
engines sweated at their task with a joyful knowledge that 
soon it would be over. Nearer and nearer they drew until at 
evening time the gods that sat in rows on the walls could be 
perceived where the Sun gilded them in the clear atmosphere, 
and the dark waving line of thousands of human beings; and 

216 



THE MARCH OF TOLTIAH, 

the devout or superstitious bowed themselves, falling upon their 
knees before the sublime majesty of the Sacred City whose 
Divinity they came to take from the usurper and exalt in 
jubilant greatness. 

And Shar-Jatal and the people, looking forth through the 
night, felt their hearts sink within them as their fears were 
realised, perceiving, as it were, a flaming sea encompassing them 
about, where a myriad twinkling fires showed the hosts of the 
enemy stretched in a vast semicircle from the eastern coast-line 
of Astra away westward and south until they shone again on 
the sea-shore eastward below the city; and fancied in their 
ears they perceived the shout of "Huitzal Huitza and Zul!" 
mingled with the screams of victims where the reed roofs of 
Lasan, Bab- Ala, Dar, Bari and Ko, and three score cities of 
the coast, fell in flaming ruins on ravished women and murdered 
warriors. 



217 



CAP. X. 

THE NIGHT OF* SPIRITS. 

And in the night Toltiah slept, and as he slept he dreamed. 
And ignorant of the storming of walls or the conduct of the 
long siege, save by the councils of others, his bold imagining 
perceived the legions climb upwards to victory, and himself 
the ruler of all the land. 

In spirit he walked free of Earth, and reviewed the past 
and all the triumphs up to the present, where before him lay 
that which should be lost or won. Before his eyes a Shape 
weighed in balances the two events and bade him consider 
well as he watched. And coming in vivid reality, as a living 
thing through the mazes of a dream, an Elemental spirit 
approached from the walls, a grisly shape of majesty and fear. 

"Go back," it said, "go back: for thou art begotten of that 
which is hateful to Zul, and wilt thou arrogantly dare to present 
thyself antagonist to the Lord of Light?" 

Toltiah, in dismayed argument, said : " But who art thou ? 
and by what name art thou known?" 

And the P^lemental spirit answered : " I have no name, being 
but the wisdom of Pocatepa ; and of that wisdom I say, go 
back, nor dare that which is more strong than thou." 

There came also another spirit of a bright and shining 
countenance, which said, " The city is thine, for in itself is it 
divided : in its heart have I sowed dissensions." 

Whereat Toltiah was amazed, looking now upon the walls, 
and now upon the camp ; blown upon the winds of conflicting 
sayings that led his own self captive, yet rebelling in obstinate 
pride. 

"And who art thou?" he asked. 

" I am of Acoa and am even as thyself," answered the bright 

218 



THE NIGHT OF SPIRITS. 

spirit: "that which gave me life has transmitted it to thee. But 
of greater earthly power, thou shalt greater prevail on Earth. 
The city is thine already, the seed of destruction is sown : 
sever the aqueduct and storm the walls." 

But a voice said : 

" Happy is the man who never reaches his highest ambition, 
for there is nought beyond ; save those closed doors, the gift 
required to enter which is not thine to bestow." 

Amazed at all these things the dreamer stood, nor answered 
a word. And voices contended in the air and all around him, 
as though Heaven warred in argument concerning a vexed 
question; and when it appeared at times that one would speak 
with him, a multitude of tongues drowned such speech. 

Yet, compelled by some power, the Shades of Huitza and 
Ju demanded the vengeance of Atlantis upon Shar-Jatal ; and 
opposing them fiercely, the Elemental spirits of Bel, the captain 
of Pocatepa's guards, and Arioch the archer dared the bold 
besieger to farther annoy the city where slept the dust of 
Tekthah, the chosen abode of Zul. 

To him thus Nezca : 

"Contend not in wanton argument of mind with such as 
these, child of Azta. To thee is the sceptre of Atlantis, and 
the opening gates of Zul shall hail thee conqueror crowned 
with wisdom and glory. In thy hands lie the powers of life — 
and death — and that which shall come of thee shall live for 
ever in song. Up, up, Atlantis! Nor craven fears shall stay 
thy march of glory and death when great Toltiah leads the 
legions to victory." 

He ceased, and a great multitude of voices echoed : 

"Up, up, Atlantis! up, for Toltiah and victory!" 

And a throne grew up beneath him, reaching far above the 
Earth, so that its top touched Heaven. Whereon seated, half 
in fear, yet arrogant withal, the Chief surveyed the populous 
places. And certain balances were hung before him, wherein 
were weighed affairs of grave importance and momentous, yet 
with hardness of heart he perceived not the reason of such, 
daringly seeking other things in impatient longing. A desire 
for self-glorification entirely absorbed him, and he wished to 

219 



ATLANTIS. 

obtain the Word whereby all becomes subservient ; so that, car- 
ried away irresistibly, his mind conceived the most outrageous 
powers whereby he became possessed of a fatal force of blasting 
and destructive magnitude. Transcending all capable power he 
entered the Infinite, and by potency of birth begot the memory 
of past and vaguely experienced things, increasing in bigness 
of perception until he confronted an intangible Veto. Appalling 
in its gloomy menace the shadowy barrier forbade all vision, 
and an impious fury arose in his heart as such hindrance. 

The glorious throne sank in silence, folding up within itself 
and shrinking to small dimensions : and from the silence arose 
a sweet voice. 

"Is there none to plead with this Soul?" it asked in thrilling 
niournfulness : " behold, it is a Soul that lives and will live 
for ever. ' 

But a great voice answered the sweet pleader : 

"The soul of Man on Earth belongs to Man, neither can 
aught direct it, save communion with God which is its Father 
and itself." 

"May it not pray for guidance and be guided?" 

"Too dear are the prayers of these my Self-children to pass 
unheeded. Beloved, yet is volition given with life." 

" Can there not be instructors among them to lead the way 
to Heaven?" 

" Not though Myself descended for their guidance would 
they follow. Man must lead Man, but God can lead the willing 
soul by love and sympathy." 

" And this one will lead Mankind astray." 

"There is a God, dear lover of Souls." 

Then was placed within the dreamer's hand a balance. And 
on one side were many desirable things, yet of evil, and in 
the other were all wisdom and moderation. Nor stayed the 
level scales for an instant, but by virtue of the holder's bias 
the evil side weighed downward so that the other kicked the beam. 

A cry of sorrow and dismay arose, and sounds as of mocking 
laughter; colossi, that appeared to support the might of tall 
pylons, leered horribly from the gloom and held forth repelling 
hands, waving backward. There lay a great serpent, fold on 

220 



THE NIGHT OF SPIRITS. 

fold of scintillating mystery, as of shapely clouds set with stars 
rolling backward in wondrous majesty, and rising high above 
its mystic front the towering head crowned with thunder, whose 
dire eyes swayed empires. Hovering in their fires of vibrating 
gold hung the glory of his dreadful pinions ; and now his form 
was as that of a god enthroned upon a cloudy tower of horror, 
and now as of a glorious figure clothed with the sunset and 
the might of storms. Which one spake with the voice of 
Earth, saying : 

" Who art thou to come up against me with men and with 
legions and with many weapons ? what will avail thee thine 
arm of flesh when thou meetest my intangible power hereafter, 
in the midst of which thou wilt be engulfed and utterly lost? 
Go back, proud conqueror of earthly men, nor dare to impi- 
ously raise the anger of gods." 

The wings tremulated among the coils as swift lightning 
running behind clouds, and the high crest cast a baleful light 
around. 

The dreamer groaned in dismay, yet, undaunted, gazed upon 
the cloudy Horror. 

"What if I go not back?" he asked; "dost thou love me 
that thou wouldst save me from destruction ? or fearest thou 
the reign of starvation that perchance may aid me in level 
war with thee? " 

" O impious," answered the coiled majesty, " dost vaunt 
thyself the equal of the gods I To save vexation to those high 
altars I command thee, go ! Go with thy legions and possess 
the land, but touch not Zul nor the habitations of the gods 
which were of old times before thee." 

But as falling lightnings from Heaven that obliterate all view, 
came a figure of surpassing splendour, filling all space with glory; 
before whom the many-folded king was but as a dark mystery 
going forth into the night. In restrained awe bowed the 
worlds before his icy grandeur that exhaled an atmosphere of 
most chaste horror and fatal power. Upon his brows enthroned 
sat Cruelty and Death, and his eyes as purest crystal compelled 
all that was not of God. His feet rested on night, from his 
awful head rolled the great storms in the semblance of serpents. 

221 



ATLANTIS. 

In a voice as of a silver trumpet he spoke : 

"Arise, my son, nor heed such interested counsels. The 
fair mistress loves not a hesitant lover, and a hot wooing will 
cause a swift surrender." 

The vision faded. The majesty of fire and cloud sank into 
nebula and left a period of void and nonentity. The morning 
of Earth swept away the mysteries of the dark night with the 
life and bustle of the Present moment ; yet in Toltiah's soul 
remained a saying and a dim remembrance that was the voice 
of Death. 



222 



CAP. XI. 



THE HOUSE DIVIDED. 



The city was terrified now in earnest, as tentative gloom 
gave place to assured imminence of danger ; for instead of march- 
ing upon the enemy, he had come in legions and in rushing 
thousands to them. Yet against him burned also a great hatred 
for desolated provinces, and the daring insolence that would 
face the proud lords of Zul in such manner of war. They 
divined that the army of Izta had been overcome, nor were 
they the more dismayed when the standards of his legions were 
next morning waved in insult under their eyes. All night long 
the chiefs of both armies consulted, the one as to defence, the 
other concerning attack; yet the former looked with dark 
suspicions, the one upon the other, for many had slain their 
friends' brothers to advance their own interests, and none owned 
a leader. The granaries were but half full, owing to treachery, 
and the owners of flocks and herds, perceiving them to be 
rudely seized, drove off the remainder and went afar. Only 
such as had cause to fear the dread wrath of Huitza worked 
heartily to defend the city, yet in so doing fearing secret death. 
But the citizens knew that for them was massacre if the walls 
were gained, and worked freely for their defence, fearing also 
the intrigues of the nobles. Upon the battlements were placed 
large vessels containing abominable stuffs to be hurled upon the 
attackers should they actually attempt an assault, and both sides 
prepared war-kites to carry up and drop other abominations. 
Vast offerings of slaves and valuables were placed upon the 
reeking altars of Zul, and as the blood-fed flame dropped an 
unctious black soot on the city it glowered fiery and terrible 
and appeared to take the form of a demon waving a sword 
over them. Not even in their wide moat did the citizens esteem 

223 



ATLANTIS. 

themselves safe from Huitza, and still more would they have 
feared had they seen where the workmen of godly Japheth 
collected materials for the building of catapults, and understood 
the omen. 

The beleaguering thousands were eager for a storming attack, 
and by morning they were still nearer the walls, that they might 
look upon their prey and feast their eyes upon her fatness. 
The busy councils determined that the building of the far-spread- 
ing entrenchment might well be delayed until force of arms 
was powerless, when they could replenish their power while 
impoverishing the city. Within easy recognition from the walls 
were the standards of the cities of Atala, Chalac, Trocoatla, 
Axatlan and Astra ; the dragon token of Talascan, the vulture 
ot the Chalacian cities, the serpent of Lote and the towns of 
Trocoatla, of Karbandu, Bar-Asan, Muzran, and of Bitsar and 
certain nomad tribes ; and the Fishes of Hanat, Surapa, Sagara 
and Mutasara, towns of the sea. Before the eyes of the anxious 
people in the walls stalked Toltiah in all his pride of great 
stature and beauty, amid frenzied shouts of " Huitza 1 Huitza I " 
His appearance filled them with horror and dismay as they 
believed themselves to be gazing in truth upon the Prince himself. 

Lifting his great voice he invited them to surrender, pointing 
to the captured standards and to the encircling hosts ; but 
though many craven ones would have done so, the braver and 
wiser knew it would be the beginning of a dire vengeance, 
for Huitza never brooked rebellion. Therefore they shouted to 
him to be gone and cast missiles upon him, so that he turned 
in enraged scorn upon his heel and left them. 

There was a hill between the city and the far forest, and 
upon the summit was a vast skeleton of some unknown animal 
that lay half-embedded. On this hill, among all the impedimenta 
of the army, Azta encamped with the women and such as took 
no part in warfare, watching the preparing of engines of war and 
the placing of such as were ready. Machines for the scaling 
of walls were made, and the aqueduct which crossed the moat 
for the conveyance of fresh water to the city was broken down, 
large wooden causeways being made for crossing the moat. 
These would be conveyed across by levers thrust into the farther 

224 



THE HOUSE DIVIDED. 

side and pushed upward from the hither ; yet could the enemy 
by vigilance prevent this, until such time as the catapults were 
ready to keep them afar. 

The bestial gods upon the walls reeked with all manner of 
oblations, and steamed in the Sun that vaporised the wine 
poured over their soaking forms; those in the market-square 
holding in their deformed hands strings of rare gems, gold 
armlets and necklaces, tiaras, wrought hair-pins, coins of value, 
and heads of women with their long silky hair matted with 
blood and dust and flies. The hideous figure that represented 
the god of these unclean insects and whose open mouth was 
always filled by his priests with clotted blood to attract them, 
was importuned to conceive more, that they might cleanse the 
city with the vultures and the dogs 

A glimpse caught of Azta also greatly terrified the people, 
and Shar-Jatal was vastly dismayed. From walls, terraces and 
roofs the citizens gazed upon the countless hordes, noting all 
their movements with anxiety, cursing the Imperial Guards with 
frenzied oaths as they perceived them, and quaking at the 
uncouth savages and the tribes of nondescripts, albinos and 
pintos, and the echoing sounds of whistles, shells, drums and 
instruments of all kinds that came to their ears. 

So eager were the besiegers for their prey that many could 
scarce be restrained from rushing upon the walls at once ; and 
considering well the human heart, I perceived how one passion 
can reign supreme to the distaste of ail others, as here I saw 
how the joy of the warrior spurned all conjugal bliss and only 
rejoiced in furious prowess of battle. They hurled missiles 
from their slings and bows and howled taunts and insults and 
threats ; while Marisa begged a favour from Toltiah, which was, 
to be permitted to make a midnight raid on the walls; nor 
would the chieftainess be dissuaded by aught that could be put 
forward against it. Mindful of his dream, and enamoured the 
more of this woman by her splendid bravery, Toltiah consented 
on condition of a half-hearted promise to consider his suit, and 
Marisa went forth to prepare for her reckless venture. 

The main port, opposite the market-place, deeply embayed 
amid its huge colossi, and with raised causeway within, was to 

225 IS 



ATLANTIS. 

be the first-tried place, and the Amazons would have to swim 
the moat. Then, if possible, they would open the ports and 
lower the causeway by its levers and vast ropes of hide, and 
the army which Toltiah promised to hold in readiness would 
follow up the confusion in its pouring myriads. 

Thus all the trained legions were moved to the front, and 
Shem and Ham, Toltiah's instructors in many manly exercises, 
had also obtained the leader's promise to head storming-parties 
when the causeways were built upon the morrow. They rejoiced 
to think of the time that saw them the first to smite the evil- 
doers, nor dreamed of the preference being given to a woman 
in the field of arms. 

A certain exultation entered the hearts also of the warriors 
of Zul at the prospect of imminent war, notwithstanding its peril 
and their horrid fate if vanquished. They drank deeply in 
watch-tower and battlement, heedless of the fact that the great 
machines and causeways of Toltiah were nearly ready ; and all 
over the city lights shone out as the darkness dropped, the. 
flames on the temples gleaming brightly, attended by the priests. 
The Amazons gathered opposite their point of attack, ready 
with scaling-ladders of rope attached to grapplers to gain the 
summit of the walls, and waiting with axe, spear and buckler slung 
on their backs, to glide into the moat and swim silently across. 

The drunken sentinels did not perceive the coming foe. 
Swift shafts pierced them as the grapplers flew upward, and the 
attackers swarmed unresisted over the walls into the glare of 
the bonfire-lighted streets, laying low all who opposed them. 
Then indeed, aroused by long clear whoops to a sense of 
danger, both friend and foe gazed, startled, to where arose the 
sounds of conflict, and as dripping Amazons scaled the high 
walls lightly, the warriors of Zul poured upon them from all 
sides. In an instant, hemmed round and driven back by irre- 
sistible numbers, that being in readiness arrived swiftly, the 
reckless Amazons fought stoutly, swinging their great axes and 
warding off blows with their wolf-skin shields with valiant energy. 

They looked for the port and the raised causeway, but a 
surging crowd of flashing helmets glimmered above the dense 
shadows of the legions that pressed them back thence. 

226 



THE HOUSE DIVIDED. 

Around lay many dead and dying, so furious was the conflict, 
and Marisa, perceiving how powerless she was to accomplish 
her errand, uttered the long-drawn whoop that commanded 
retreat. Before her, bounding through the ranks of her warriors, 
appeared a huge Tzantan wielding a spear, the blow of which 
she escaped but by an active leap, leaving her shield transfixed 
upon the ground. She swung her axe upon him and the 
weapon bit deeply, but as, carried from her balance by the 
fury of her attack, she fell, his buckler that would have crushed 
her beneath its vast weight, fell also with a hollow clang by her 
side, the warrior falling upon it and covering her with blood. 
The legions of Toltiah, apprised by the leader of what was 
taking place, looked eagerly for an opportunity to attack the 
walls also, and could scarce be restrained from rushing into the 
moat to swim across. The Amazons, as they could, regained 
the summit of the wall, but some half-dozen, perceiving in the 
faint light the plight of their Queen, dashed upon the enemy 
with ready weapons, and clearing a space by the impetuosity 
of their attack, carried her off. The warriors of Zul made a 
rush to secure one whom they took to be a chief of note, 
possibly Huitza himself, but a tempest of spears and axes beat 
• them back, and a tall Amazon, wrenching one of the hideous 
gods from its pedestal, hurled the uncouth mass towards them, 
as a missile from the twisted strings of a catapult. Running 
upon the walls they also poured upon the citizens their own 
preparations, a few keeping back the warriors until their com- 
rades should have recrossed the moat, and then themselves 
crossing. 

Thus bruised and bleeding they wrathfully retired, hurling 
insults upon the foe, and casting a certain discouragement upon 
the besiegers, of whom also the Tzantans were furious at prefer- 
ence being given to a woman, but Toltiah declared it to have 
been unknown to himself. 

The high-spirited chieftainess replied haughtily to his enquiries 
as to how she had fared, nor would she hear of any things 
of soft meaning. Her people loved not to be repulsed, nor did 
they think of aught but blows when in war. Of intercourse 
with man they knew not save through the medium of axe and 

227 



ATLANTIS. 

shield, and Toltiah, enraged and mortified, was bidden to depart 
from her presence. 

The people of the city were jubilant with their success, 
believing this to be an attack in force, and were greatly en- 
couraged that the gods had not favoured Huitza — for no suspicion 
of Toltiah being other than the prince was dreamed of, the 
chiefs believing with Tekthah that the child of Azta had been 
killed on the night of the massacre. Now from both armies 
great kites soared up, skilfully directed, dropping combustibles 
and abominations upon those below, so that many were injured. 
Yet the citizens liked not the appearance of the camp fires, like 
a fallen heaven of stars surrounding them, the points of which 
environment resting on the shores and cliffs above and below 
the walls. 

How greatly were they astonished when they discovered that 
their fierce assailants of the night were women 1 They were 
likewise enraged and ashamed, and two of the Amazons who 
had been taken alive were subjected to nameless indignities 
and were miserably butchered upon the altar of the temple of 
Neptsis, which was near the walls and within clear view of the 
enemy, who howled with impotent rage at beholding. 

The great preparations continued, thousands of men in all 
directions working like ants in a hill, hauling beams and erecting 
great machines round the walls, while continuously the large 
kites soared up and spread their vile cargoes on those beneath. 

The Tzantan Coyo-Lote advised a sallying forth from the 
city upon the forces of the enemy before they could gather in 
ready might, but Shar-Jatal, who was ever cautious, would not 
permit this, suspecting treachery. Also, if in good faith, he 
feared a repulse that would not only discourage all, but seriously 
hinder the defence, and agreed to wait until such time as a 
decisive blow could be struck. But the impetuous nobles, stirred 
up by the former success, would not hear of caution, and 
insisted upon an attack being made, urging their plan by the 
greatest show of reasonable arguments, and furious at being thus 
bearded even by Huitza's self. 

Therefore it was planned that the main port should be opened, 
the causeway dropped, and an army pour forth upon the enemy 

228 



THE HOUSE DIVIDED. 

to do what mischief it might and return when ready. The 
warriors of Lasan and those other towns which had been 
overwhelmed and destroyed, cried aloud for vengeance, and 
formed the main part of the attacking force, while to Colosse 
and Toloc was entrusted the personal charge of capturing alive 
Toltiah, who, conspicuous, strode in plain view of all, his 
enormous shield hung behind his back as a gleaming Sun. 

Thus these vengeful men were gathered by the port, and 
vast crowds stood upon the walls to watch the movements of 
the foe and their discomfiture by those legions. It seemed as 
though the enemy had also set himself upon action, for one 
of the prepared wooden bridges was thrust across the moat by 
the great gates through which the warriors of Zul were preparing 
to pour ; which was also secured to the walls, despite a down- 
pour of blazing pitch and heavy missiles that stretched howling, 
mangled workers beneath the battlements. 

Around a machine opposite to the port the frantic crowds 
observed numbers of warriors gather, and presently a great 
rock was placed upon a beam, while innumerable missiles 
darkened the air in protection of the causeway, rattling on wall 
and armour and dashing chips from the idols. Men with levers 
heaved downward the beam of the engine, which, suddenly 
rising with terrific violence, launched the rock towards them, 
flying in varying shapes and gyrations like an approaching 
thunderbolt. 

Cries of terror arose, and a wild heedless stampede took 
place, the terrified people screaming with fright, striking with 
great blows and pushing underfoot all who barred their way. 
Women and children went down in that panic-stricken rush to 
escape an unknown danger; men stumbled and were pushed 
down to rise no more, some wriggling impaled on their own 
or others' weapons, some perfectly nude, others in flying rags. 
The legions were broken up and confused, and great blows 
were exchanged ; while above shouts, shrieks and cries came an 
appalling sound as the great idol over the port, smashed into 
a myriad flying splinters by the missile from the catapult, flew 
into their midst, and the bounding rock cleared a bloody lane 
for itself until it fell against a wall. 

229 



CAP. XII. 



THE WOOING OF ZUL. 



With the shot from the catapult the besiegers started into 
motion. From the lines of their encampment issued a mob of 
rushing thousands, chiefs leading and standards waving. Two 
tall warriors led the rest, one waving the National Standard, 
and like a tidal wave stretching from horizon to horizon the 
multitudes moved over the intervening space. Waiting in front 
of the main port Toltiah held the trained legions in readiness 
to enter the opening valves, as, amid shouts of command, scores 
of bridges spanned the moat and catapults showered volleys of 
stones and single rocks upon the walls, smashing idols and 
overturning vessels of pitch. From the watch-towers issued darts 
and sling-shot, but, regardless, the attackers moved forward from 
their encampment, from which their dark legions appeared never 
to cease to pour; for as the van prepared to run across the 
causeways the rear still issued forth. 

With the long springing step of panthers they advanced and 
hurled themselves with yells of menace upon the walls, swinging 
clubs armed with blades of obsidian, (x. and waving spears, swords 
and knives of long flakes of flint and chalcedony and copper, 
climbing upon each others' shoulders, up ladders of hide or 
pegged beams to reach the top; while from behind sped over- 
head the hail of missiles from their comrades. A sound high 
above caused an instant's cessation, ^s from Zul's fire-tower 
boomed the great drum, smitten by Shar-Jatal's hand, like a 
long roll of thunder, bidding the legions pour to the battle- 
ments, as a myriad heads crowned the walls; men helped up 



X The description would nialce this weapon appear to be the prototype of the 
Mexican Maquahuatl. 



230 



THE WOOING OF ZUL. 

on the shoulders of others, forming a living ladder for comrades 
to climb upwards. 

The army inside the main port having recovered from the rush 
of the panic, spread along the battlements, sling-shot and arrows 
rattling upon the armour as the sound of a hail-storm ; while, 
pushed across the prepared causeways by the besiegers, and 
presented to every gate along the walls, came a slung beam in an 
engine, tipped with a bronze beak, for battering down the opposing 
defences. The six remaining warships of the fleet lying by the 
entrance of the moat, fearful of the pouring masses of the foe, 
ran out to sea, nor attempted a fighting passage round the 
walls; watching the legions run across the causeways and leap 
upwards, despite furious resistance. 

Savage howls of agony rose as the boiling pitch burned 
hollows in human flesh, or a sling-shot or slave-whip tipped 
with bronze claws wounded some sensitive part; but in 
spite of overturned masses and falling pitch the besiegers 
streamed upward. And, before God ! it was a stirring and 
a brave sight to witness how those swarming thousands 
scaled the battlements, and to hear the thud — thud — thud of 
the battering-beams falling upon the mighty gates and 
picking them to pieces ; whose grim colossi seemed to smile 
on their efforts. 

Up they went, some over, some to fall back, dead or dying, 
into the moat, heaving red with blood. An idol, caught by a 
grappler, fell downwards with its load, clearing a dreadful path 
by the weight of falling men ; and now in one or two red 
spots human men, mingled with beams and smashed fragments 
and the horror of broken causeways, filled up the moat and 
made a dreadful bridge. Mid veils of high- splashing waters 
the black legions covered the walls, and high waved the 
victorious Standard of Atlantis as tall Shem raised it to the 
skies and shouted a jubilant war-whoop. Ham's spear dripped 
with blood, and all along thy walls, fair Zul, rose near and 
far the long continuous roar of howls and shrieks of wounded 
men, the clash of metal and horrid thuds of huge tusk-studded 
clubs. With furious avenge the savage warriors of Bab-Ala, 
Ko and Lasan smote at the attackers with their clubs armed 

231 



ATLANTIS. 

with swinging balls of brass ; the thrown sticks of Dar and 
Rari x flew like winged missiles into the thronging foemen and 
caused horrid wounds. Yet up come the enemies with dreadful 
bravery, undaunted, pyramids of men climbing upon one another. 

There fought the swift Amazons with spear and reeking axe, 
yonder the terrific war-cries of Chalac and Trocoatla rose like 
the sounds of savage animals amidst the din, as, beaten back 
continuously, the assailants flew at the walls with desperate 
valour, opposed by glittering Adar, Izal and Coyo-Lote, and the 
legions of Hoetlan, Saman and Bel, Oris, Uta, Ataleel and Hammur. 

Derion's archers pour over the walls their death-dealing 
shafts, the piercing cries of the spearmen of the Owl tribes 
sound like a wild song ; Azta, like a goddess in her majestic 
fury, cheers them on, and Toltiah points to where the leaders, 
fighting upon the walls, stand within a bloody circle of foemen, 
red from crest to heel. Would that the gate would yield that 
he might lead the chafing thousands to victory 1 With mighty 
weapons the assailants fight with no advantage to either side, 
for if ever a valorous band enter the walls a rushing mass of 
defenders hurls them backward. 

The battlements run red with blood that smokes where the 
sun can reach it, yet still the desperate foemen scale them, 
some to leap inside and fight until beaten down by numbers, 
others to fall back, pierced through and through by arrow, 
spear or sword, or with heads smashed by sling-shot, club, 
axe or shattering buckler. 

And ever arose the sounds, rising, falling, of that long strife, 
from near and graduating afar, until there was no atom but 
vibrated with uproar where thousands fought and died. Some 
hurled down the hideous idols on their enemies, crushing many, 
and jumping down in the cleared space endeavoured to gain 
a footing and fight their way to the ports; but, charging furi- 
ously, the warriors of Zul ever beat them back. There died 

X I'liis would describe eciually tlie Zulu Knobkeri ic or the Australian boomerang, 
which latter weapon w as at one time more universal than might be supposed, one 
form of it being found among the Hindoos and another among the ancient 
Egyptians. The throwing stick is also used by the Andaman Islanders aud the 
Ks(juiniaux. 

232 



THE WOOING OF ZUL. 

of Toltiah's warriors the stout Ez-Ra, the only survivor before 
the prowess of Izta's troops, and smitten by Amal fell Mazapilli 
and the valorous Aramath, governor of Bitsar, and Abbas of 
Surapa in Astra. 

There fought Colosse and Iztli amid Princes and Tzantans 
of Tekthah's Court, covered with horrid stains, with dinted 
armour and battered crest; rnighty Toloc hurls back the assailants 
with a giant's strength, and the enormous seven-toed Amal fights 
desperately on the walls with half a score of furious Amazons 
who tug and tear at him and endeavour to cast him down 
among their comrades. 

Above the heads a rushing mass hurtles, and a serpent 
column of the temple of Neptsis, shattered by a bolt from 
one of the engines, falls in ruins and scatters death on the 
crowd around. Stones from the slings of both parties fly over 
the wall like a thick hail, humming, whistling, filling the air 
with hideous flying lumps of flesh and brains and long splashes 
of blood. Men pant in the stifling crush, and some, smitten 
dead, sway upright with protruding brains sUpping down over 
their shoulders. Blood shows horribly on ashen faces, but now 
all is diabolical frenzy, and teeth are bared and eyes blaze like 
.the fires of Hell. The sharp sounds that rose at the com- 
mencement have lulled to a long roaring growl and moan as the 
red weapons flash and circle and fall in deadly onslaught. 
Still up they go and now men fight on mounds of dead bodies, 
while choking dust rises thickly, and Shar-Jatal from the highest 
roof of Zul can scarce discern how the battle goes. 

Another shot from a catapult spHnters on the crest of the 
wall, smashing men like flies, and afar the engines hurl their 
masses pregnant with death, and the great beams fall upon the 
stubborn gates. Azta gazes with her yellow eyes ablaze, her 
fierce spirit deeply stirred by the brave sight. 

The walls are all red now, the moat in places exposes the 
half-submerged heaps, and above the death-locked masses rush 
the bolts from the engines and the unceasing hail of smaller 
missiles. The palaces and all those buildings near the walls 
are chipped and redly spattered, and the streets and squares 
are full of mangled bodies and debris. From near roofs rains 

233 



ATLANTIS. 

down a storm of harmful things, rocks, stones, bricks, sling- 
shot and arrows, and wretched prisoners, captured at the walls, 
are hurried to the temples for sacrifice. 

Those of Zul fight for their life and liberty, and high blood 
and superior arms begin to tell against the wearied attackers, 
mindful of the fate of the captured. 

No good now for Shem to raise his war-cry ; Ham's great 
spear lies shivered at his feet; the Standards waver. Marisa, 
wounded, falls back, fighting sullenly ; the ostrich-plumes of 
Chalac roll backwards like a baffled cloud of thunder. No need 
for causeways now for the retreat, the path that they recross 
is the heaped-up path of the dead. 

In their encampment Susi prays by the side of Noah, wildly 
and entreatingly ; Asta passionately invokes her spirits, and all 
cry to their different divinities. Japheth at his artillery taps the 
humming cords and directs the aim, now of this one, now of 
that. They perceive the storming-parties, beaten back and 
repulsed, return discouraged, decimated, weary, and red from, 
crest to heel, with trailing standards and dishonoured arms. 
Shem's head lowers with grief and shame despite his valorous 
deeds, and as they slowly stream lack, those myriad heroes who 
rushed onward so jubilantly at noon, the setting sun throws 
long mournful shadows afar. They bewail lost comrades, many 
whose relationship were very close and dear, and many a 
blood-mingled tear falls. There, behind them lie friends and 
foes, horribly mingled in their ensanguined grasps, on the walls 
or beneath the crimson waters of the moat. Azco lies there 
surrounded by dead foemen, and many a haughty chief with 
him now stiff and dead. Amal lie-; there, gashed and un- 
recognisable beneath a red pile of friends and foes that press 
over him his vast shield, gold and studded with gems of 
ony.x. Madalia, the Amazon, places his mighty armlet of bronze 
ujjon her black hair as a coronet, than which none more grand. 

Shar-Jatal did not pursue; the fight had been too severe 
and exhausting to all, and he perceived still the swarming 
hordes who covered the land to the rear and were unfatigued. 
Rest was necessary for the wearied ones, and the women tenderly 
bathed and nursed the wounds of their warriors, resting their 

234 



THE WOOING OF ZUL. 

weary heads on their bosoms and ministering to all their needs. 

Toltiah consulted with the Tzantans as to what they should 
do, this one proposing to batter down the walls with the beams 
and catapults, that advising to starve the city into submission. 
Yet this last would not do, because of the like danger to their 
own immense armament. Azta, like a goddess of battles, urged 
passionately another assault, Nezca likewise advising this thing. 
Surely must some be able to open the ports ! So also advised 
Noah and Chanoc and Nahuasco, nor were wanting the voices 
of Japheth and Marisa. 

Thus it was resolved, and messengers were sent to bring up 
the rearmost troops and to hasten the savages and hunters and 
such to the front, for it was thought that these less valuable 
warriors could exhaust the enemy and prepare the way thus 
for a most formidable onslaught of the more trained legions. 
And from the dark encampment there sailed up over the city 
a great kite which rained fire and poisons above the houses. 
And others sailed high in the air, until it seemed as though 
the Heavens rained horror upon the doomed city, scattering 
fiery death and pestilential atmosphere all around. Many were 
transfixed by arrows and brought down, yet the sending them 
back over the besiegers was of small avail, (which had no houses 
to fire). In fainting horror people died, racked with the deadly 
poisons, while the city was lighted by flaming roofs that blazed 
in all directions and fell in upon the people. Yet Tunipa, a 
mighty archer, caused the downfall of many of the fatal destroy- 
ers by rending them with arrows, while upon their arms the 
foemen slept, exhausted, save those who had taken no part in 
the fight, which ones kept watch to preserve the camp from 
an attack. 



235 



CAP. XIII. 



TIIK HILL OF THE TALCOATLA. 

The fires flared redly in Zul all night, and on top of the 
great temple the horrified watchers could perceive a ghastly 
holocaust being proceeded with, in fancy hearing the screams of 
agony of tortured wretches suffering horribly. The topmost 
flame spluttered and burned redly, flaring with the oil of con- 
suming hearts torn wholesale from breasts throbbing with hideous 
tortures, and the odour of burning flesh reached even to the 
camp of the besiegers, and sent the blood in curdling streams 
to the hearts of the watchers, who deemed that such might bev 
their fate on the morrow. 

All through the night that bloody work went on, regardless 
of the flying terror of the kites, and Noah cursed the evil-doers, 
and particularly Shar-Jatal and Acoa, by Heaven and Hell and 
all that was upon the Earth, but Azta, with a little bitter laugh, 
threatened them with like treatment when she should hold them 
in her power. Toltiah answered her laugh with one as menacing, 
for the teachings of Noah affected him not. 

The morning came and those who slept awoke And coming 
from a far hiding-place, where he had fled from the cruel wrath 
of Tekthah, great Mehir joined Toltiah, eager for the fray. Both 
sides beheld the rising of the Lord of Light with forebodings ; 
and as Toltiah perceived the flashing tower of Zul leap into a 
blaze ot gold through the veil of smoke that hung above the 
half-burnt city, he wondered, perchance, what that tower would 
witness. And being — despite, as I have said, all teachings — an 
idolater, deeply he bowed in reverence towards it and on his 
knee made obeisance, and all the army did likewise. 

How many fed their last that morning round thy camp-fires, 
O fields of horror! And after the commands were given, the 

236 



THE HILL OF THE TALCOATLA. 

trumpets and drums and shells raised their voices of death, and 
the anxious watchers of Zul perceived that they were to en- 
counter another furious attack, as band on band and army 
on army moved slowly towards them and the engines were 
manned. 

There were no shoutings and insults this day, only a grim, 
horrid silence seemed to brood with bated breath over all. 
Shar-Jatal cried to the gods to aid the city ; Pocatepa consulted 
her oracles, crying to the Shades to help in the defence of the 
Sacred Shrines and imploring the Spirits of all who had wor- 
shipped Zul to aid now in her sore need. But Acoa cried to 
the Sun by virtue of the pleasant offerings to aid Toltiah. 

Now commenced again the hissing hail of flying oddments 
and the thudding blows of the battering-beams worked by their 
long array of hauling artillerists. A horrid stench filled the air, 
arising from the moat, and, as the shots flew, a buzzing veil 
of flies hid the view of the walls for some while. 

Like black clouds, thousands of hunters and savages leaped 
towards the walls. All the women gathered round Azta and 
Noah, with their hands raised in supplication to the Heavens. 
They watched the multitudes dash at the walls, scrambling and 
slipping, while high in air the missiles from the engines flew 
in volleys and by single masses, bearing crashing doom and 
destruction. Hunters and slingers, heaving stones and sharp 
pebbles, streamed across the horrid moat, while swarms of savages 
raced before them, and upon the other side of the city the 
hordes of nondescripts were driven upon the walls. 

A wild prolonged medley of shouts, shrieks and whistles 
rent the air as the masses splashed and plunged through the 
red horrors, many with feet entangled in protruding ribs falling 
to their doom. Showers of boiling metal flew among them, 
causing ghastly wounds, but the booming thunder of drums 
drowned for awhile their shrieks of agony. Yet greatly defended 
by their rearward artillerists until they gained the crest of the 
walls, they there encountered the full fury of the flying atoms 
and fell back in numbers, pierced and dying. Beneath them, 
on the awful mound of human bodies, men wriggled, impaled 
on bones of corpses or writhing with dreadful wounds inflicted 

237 



ATLANTIS. 

by the molten metal that bit deep into their flesh. Yet in 
reckless madness the attackers struggled up, inflamed by the 
shouts of those behind and in the encampment, who harassed 
the city with noxious kites. 

Again was that echoing horror of shouts, groans and shrieks- 
Men, pierced through the head, cried shrilly and fell on their 
faces, and many who were wounded whooped to encourage 
their comrades. Ah, those ghastly wounds! Ears were smitten 
off and eyeballs burst by the sling-shot that smashed skulls 
and scattered brains. Some, struck in the throat, grunted hide- 
ously, and from crushed limbs the purple blood oozed in great 
gouts, dropping like a heavy rain. 

" Now up, ye braves of Toltiah ! Forward for Zul and Atlantis! 
Huitza ! Huitza and Victory!" 

O Azta, that sweet love of a mother that shone so brightly 
for an instant ! Would that ambition had not held thee so 
greatly ! For a space, oppressed by nameless forebodings, she 
clung to her warrior; how could she let him go? what shoulc^ 
aught befall him I The sacred instinct rose superior to consider- 
ations of glory ; and yet he must go, and she, his mother, must 
not be the one to hinder his triumph, though her heart break 
and her spirit faint in worse than death. 

" (io and conquer, son of Asia!" she cried, "and the Spirits 
who love thee watch and protect thee. Zul awaits her lord 
and Victory crowns thy standard. Yet kiss me once more, 
O my child, for thine own sake and for his whose likeness is 
stamped upon thy brow. Go, my brave ; I shall not survive thee ! " 

"Fear not, Lady," said the gentle voice of Susi at her elbow, 
as she stood like a statue of marble, gazing after her retreating 
warrior; "the God of battles is upon our side and the doom 
of Zul is spoken. For last night a fearful Vision hovered over 
her towers — a great angel with streaming mane of fire and waving 
a sword of flame. From Mount Axatlan he came, and from 
his hand fell a bolt; before him went the lightnings. Didst 
thou not also see it, my Empress?" 

Azta, still gazing, shook her head. The dark clouds of the 
legions were in motion! A great cry of despair came from 
the city, thrilling and prolonged. 

238 



THE HILL OF THE TALCOATLA. 

Right and left, far stretching and tremendous, move forward 
the masses of men. There ghtters the splendid armour of 
Tekthah's guards, and beside them the ostrich plumes of 
Talascan and Chalac roll like storm-waves in terrific motion ; 
the fierce legions of the Amazons leap forward swiftly, and 
Trocoatla pours forward her fiery bands longing to scale the 
red walls and claim their prey. Swiftly advance the standards; 
the vermilion plumes of the flamingo flare like splashes of blood 
upon the moving carpet of crested heads, begemmed with flashing 
gold and gleaming weapon-points; the horned and antlered helms 
of Axatlan and the cities of the frontiers sway like a field of 
plants under the breath of a hurricane. 

Marisa's warrior-women rush forward impetuously, and as 
they surmount the walls and pour like an avalanche upon the 
weary defenders, all down the long line surges the charging 
shouts of the vast array, that, fresh and irresistible, leaps to 
the attack. The Amazon Queen falls with an arrow through 
her arm, and a streaming wound on her head where a war-club 
has carried away her helmet and laid bare the scalp. But two 
vast missiles drop in swift succession into the enemy's masses, 
crushing and maiming and compelling a retreat. 

Up the walls and over I "Huitza and Zul! " rises the frenzied 
shout, as blades rise and fall and bucklers are beaten down. 
The noise of the battle doubles — the City is in its death-throes! 

Toltiah, with the guards before the main port, watches keenly. 
But for Nezca he would have rushed forward to the walls, but 
from this the Tzantan begged him desist, pointing to where his 
legions victoriously fight and bidding him mark the sounds of 
mortal strife all around the walls, where all had now gathered 
from roof and street to aid in their defence. Yet more also 
than defence, for the great cry of the city's despair was not 
from fear of the enemy, but the news that there was no water 
in the reservoirs and that the aqueduct was cut. Therefore it 
was resolved that day to crush the army of Huitza or perish 
by a kindlier fate than want of water. 

By reason of this resolve, suddenly the great valves of the 
main port slowly opened, turning upon their stony pivots, and 
streams of warriors issued forth, valorous with wine which had 

239 



ATLANTIS. 

been supplied to thcin to increase their rage. Yet in a great 
measure the furious rivalry of their leaders greatly hindered 
them, and many even withheld from joining in the sally; which 
hesitance was of grave importance. Believing these to be his 
own victorious warriors who had broken through the port, 
Toltiah with a shout of triumph swung up his vast shield and 
dashed forward, but halted in astonishment as he perceived 
these to be of Zul and not his own troops. 

Running swiftly into a fan-shaped formation these rushed 
upon the legions of the guards, and their great spears clanged 
upon the advanced bucklers, impaling many. A furious fight 
commenced as their impetuous charge, ever increased by out- 
pouring numbers, drove back the assailants; and the rearmost 
fell upon the flanks of the storming-parties, carrying death and 
destruction. In a dense crowd thousands fought hand to hand 
where Zul at bay struggled for life, watched anxiously by 
those in the camp, whose jubilation stopped in anxiety. Sword 
to sword and spear to spear, with clanging bucklers fough^ 
the trained legions, the guards of Nezca, with Chanoc, Nahuasco, 
Mehir and many more great and valorous, pressed back by 
the desperate and overwhelming rush with the rest of the 
legions of Toltiah. 

Shar-Jatal watched from the great temple, pleading the loss 
of a hand as an excuse for not joining the fray. He saw 
where, towering above the crush, swayed the golden helm of 
Toltiah, and marked with dismay the sweeping death that laid 
men low before his mighty sword. He believed he perceived 
many of his own chiefs, and sought for where gray Colosse 
advanced his shield against the obsidian-headed spears of the 
guards and smote with his flashing sword the ostrich-plumed 
crests; where great Toloc charged with gory spear, and where, 
appalling sight, dark Mehir stalks before his eyes, crowned with 
vengeance and death. The vermilion plumes of officers showed 
like flames, and bossy bucklers, heaved upwards by some smitten 
to death, gleamed brightly for an instant and then fell. Clubs 
flourished and crashed, slinging clots of flesh and blood, swords 
swung in fatal circles and the long stabbing spears quivered up 
and down like the tongues of serpents ; high sounded the crash of 

240 



THE HILL OF TliE TALCOATLA. 

meeting shields amid the shrieks of horribly wounded men and 
the awful roaring moan of the crowd. Ill fate to him who 
fell! For now scarce was there room to fight, and men of 
mighty brawn thrust savagely with destroying elbows, strangling 
each other with bare hands and butting with their heads. 
Dented helms and blood-spattered visages rose and fell like 
visions of a dream, armour was torn off and quivering hands 
thrust themselves up as from a suffocating sea in which dead 
men hung by the shoulders, kept up by the crush, to presently 
fall and cause a stumbling mass for others. Heavy sandalled 
feet crashed through ribs and stuck in the corpses, and some 
men, mounting upon the shoulders of others, smashed at the 
heads beneath until they were killed by a spear-thrust in the 
abdomen. Here, save but for my intervention, would have 
fallen Lotis, the youthful chief of Katalaria, whom his mother 
loved, and for whose sad grief at his parting I vowed to 
cherish ; there fought the furious refugees from Izta's desolating 
march and such few as had escaped the massacres of Tek-Ra ; 
the Chalacian chiefs Astrobal of Sular and Azebe of Bitala 
contest the ground with the men of x\rioch and Zebra, jealous 
chiefs whose rivalry hinders their prowess. Before Sidi-Assur, 
friend of Chanoc, falls Ombar and the men of Lasan, and 
endeavouring to stem the rush of those of Zul, fight with giants' 
prowess Eru, Nezca, and Nahuasco, Rhea of Muzran, Arvath 
of Anduqu, glorious Toltiah and many of the Amazons. The 
slingers of Bitaranu leap upon the glittering warriors of Zul, 
and Hano's Astran warriors fall fighting before the unconquered 
might of Colosse, Toloc, and Eto-masse, and the furious legions 
of Adar, Oris and Hammur. 

Slowly backward swayed the troops of Toltiah, the leader 
fighting desperately and shouting to encourage his men. If but 
the thousands round the walls would but perceive his plight 
and hasten to aid, then would the desperate attackers be smitten 
in the rear and overpowered ; yet so furiously were they engaged 
in their scaling of the walls and conquering the battlements 
that no warning moved them. Side by side Shem and Ham 
swing their heavy swords and shout for aid to them as 
step by step they are forced back with the struggling mass. 

241 16 



ATLANTl!^. 

Now they were among the baggage and the women, and 
these, retreating in weeping terror as the frenzied multitude 
approached ever nearer, gather round Azta and Noah ; the 
l)atriarch exhorting them to prayer, Azta commanding them to 
arm themselves with whatsoever they might and aid their 
warriors, who, heavily pressed by the Imperial troops, gather 
round the hill. 

Yet even now she gazed curiously around, as here they stood 
by tlie white skeleton that stretched right and left, the bones 
of a Talcoatla, an animal of long past ages unknown save in 
legend. Behind, an untrodden land ; in front, civilization — and 
death. To her mind there arose a vision of a new world, a 
land whose birth she could not fathom, a realm of the years 
to come, vague and mysterious. Standing upon the bounds 
of the Past and of the far, far Future, the roar of the conflict 
fell upon her ears with a sense of incongruity. 

Yet now was the Present and the voice of Death, and she 
looked for Toltiah with a terrible yearning love. Half-way up 
the slope he stood, surrounded by his chiefs and warriors, 
exhausted but unvanquished ; while urged on by their leaders 
and the possession of victory the Imperial troops press them 
hard. A grim carpet of dead bodies stretches backwards from 
them to the sally-port; gray-haired Colosse has fallen back 
there under the walls, and Zebra, Uruk, Saman, Ataleel, Arvath 
and Astrobal, foes united in death, bear him brave company. 
Coyo-Lote falls wounded, and Toloc leans heavily on his sword 
in the rear. Shem's left arm hangs within his failing buckler, 
smashed by a war-club, and his head is wounded ; Ham is covered 
with blood and dust, and Toltiah's helmet has gone, his ruddy 
mane flying loosely. Nezca alone appears unharmed. 

Sullenly and vengefully they grapple with their foes, but a 
great rush drives them yet farther up the slope. They fight 
now in fierce despair and the women cry miserably. 

In agony I called upon Heaven, descending with a fiery 
rush of flame to fight by the side of Toltiah and to protect 
my Love. Toloc with two giant chiefs, Oris and Bel, rushes 
up the slope, impatient of victory. Azta with deadly terror in 
her heart advances towards her son, and the battle closes furi- 

242 



THE MILL OF THE TALCOaTLA. 

ously as the red swords clash and spHnter and the battering 
bucklers meet. Toloc, smitten by my will, falls like a blasted 
tower with clanging arms, and Coyo-Lote, rushing upon Nezca, 
receives a great blow upon his crest and falls dead. But in a 
pool of blood Toltiah slipped and Bel's great sword had 
then and there ended his career and perchance have saved 
Atlantis; but smiting up the blade with his own, Alam 
leaped upon him, bearing him to the earth beneath his buckler, 
(which warrior was that son of Pharno whom I had seen 
aforetimes). 

Now from the city a great roar proclaims the victory of the 
attacking legions of Toltiah, and now from every port their 
blood-stained columns race through lanes of death to the perceived 
imminence, and, rushing back from the walls, the fiery Amazons 
leap upon the enemy's rear and with their axes drive them 
into a dense crowd. 

Downward the blood flows in long streams, but the high, 
clear whoop of the rescuers is as a voice from Heaven rising 
above the horrid uproar; and, closing in from both flanks, the 
vulture of Chalac flies above its crested bearers upon Zul, with 
the serpents of Trocoatla and Lote and the fish-tailed gods of 
Astra, as streaming hosts pour upon the remainder of Shar- 
Jatal's legions. 

"Go, my child," I cried to Toltiah, "thine is the victory!" and 
the mighty youth rushed upon the foe, cutting down all before him, 
while Nezca's battle cry called the legions to the charge. Shem, 
lying prone in Susi's arms among the riot, shouts jubilantly as 
the enemies melt away before the rushing legions and men haul 
the remnant back as prisoners. 

The battle was over. The sun had nearly set, but still his 
bright beams lighted upon the Hill of the Talcoatla and shone 
on pools of coagulating blood. Bodies of men, not all still, 
lay in masses along that terrible path leading from the gate 
of Zul, and cumber the slope of the hill on whose summit 
the women weep for joy and Noah and his family pray over 
Shem and bathe the wounds of the others, praising Heaven for 
the victory. The Amazons stand in groups, dark against 
the sky, here bending over a dead or dying comrade, there 

243 



ATI.ANTIS. 

cruelly murdering a fallen foe; and Toltiah, exhausted and 
wounded, rests on Azta's proud bosom, assured that Zul is 
in his hands. 

Jubilate deoriim ! 

This successful storming of so strong a fortified city is, I suppose, the quickest 
event of the sort on record, but carrying by storm was not often attempted on 
such a scale. 

The siege of Jerusalem occupied about four months altogether, various positions 
being carried by assault, and finally the central citadel. The siege of Troy is stated 
to have lasted ten years, but this long time is eclipsed by the siege of Ashdod 
by Psammetichus, who, according to Herodotus, invested it for twenty-nine years. 
Tyre resisted Nebucliadnezzar for thirteen years (587 — 574 B.C.), and then pre- 
sumably capitulated on favorable terms; but was again besieged by Alexan'ier and 
taken by storm after seven months, in July 332 B.C. 



244 



CAP. XIV. 



THE SHAME OF THE STRONG. 



There was blood in the city ; in the streets, on the walls, 
on columns and steps it lay in pools and splashes. The vul- 
tures that sat on the roofs of the Bazaar, scared off by the 
battle, returned with added numbers and gathered together to 
the feast of death, fighting dogs and rats that crept forth from 
holes and corners where they sheltered during the terrors of the 
siege. Flies rose in black clouds from swollen hideous corpses 
on the approach of any intruder, the incessant sound of their 
buzzing being audible all day long; and hanging dead by the 
heels from beams upon the walls, and drying upon the torture- 
stakes, were scores of victims to Toltiah's vengeance. 

Large ocelots, brought in by the hunters, yelled and snarled 
-savagely, terrifying the smaller scavengers, as they lay flat on 
their white bellies and drew out the entrails from the corpses. 
Under huge rocks lay crushed and mangled wretches in pools 
of purple blood, stripped and denuded of all ornaments ; many 
of high rank who little dreamed of such an end. 

The bolts from the catapults had wrought dire havoc, scarce 
any of the nearer buildings on the lowest terrace having escaped 
defacement. In the Market-place they had fallen, and the great 
square was littered with the debris of a late encampment and 
the smashed wreckage of sundry of the abominable idols, toge- 
ther with shattered rocks and stones and arrows. 

The temple of Neptsis had suffered, but the Circus, higher 
up, had escaped. The Museum was damaged, and the Bazaar 
which was by the walls was full of horrible debris of rocks, 
splintered columns and idols, bodies of men with bones and crushed 
armour bedded in their flesh, entrails hanging like dishevelled 
rigging of a ship over the mounds of horror and disgust. The 

245 



ATLANTIS. 

palace of Izta had been struck, and the flying splinters had 
strewn dead bodies thickly there. But the walls! The high 
battlements had been swept clear of all projections, and the 
rows of idols were lying in fragments on both sides amid piles 
of rotting bodies. 

Partly within and partly without the city the victorious army 
was encamped. In the red palace were now Toltiah and Azta, 
some of the great Tzantans, and Noah, whose family were given 
palaces of nobles to live in. In one of the apartments Marisa 
lay, recovering from severe wounds, whom Azta spent long 
times with ; and now the former occupants, Shar-Jatal and Poca- 
tepa, taken alive in each other's arms in the violated sanctuary 
of Neptsis which they had not respected aforetimes, were in the 
Circus with many other prisoners, each chained to a negro guard. 
And fain would Azta have seen Acoa there, but he had gone, 
nor was he to be found ; but there were other priests there among 
captured chieftains and warriors, of whom the more important 
were secured as Shar-Jatal and his mistress, but the rest were herded 
together in the apartments of the beasts, and most of the great 
ones which were of Tekthah's court were spared all indignities, 
among whom the queens Axazaya, Sada, Sumar, Tua and others 
were well entreated, yet some feared for the triumph of Azta, 
having cause by reason of jealousy and aforetimes annoyance. 

And Azta was minded now to slay Mah, whom she feared, 
yet also had he disappeared, which was aforetimes; and learning 
of Pocatepa's treatment of Na, and the death of her old nurse, 
she caused the metal incubus which had been riveted upon her 
head to be placed upon Pocatepa's. The large ape was speared 
by a Captain of the guards that none might be enspelled by 
it, for Azta feared the magic of its mistress somewhat, knowing 
how Mah held her in his power. 

Many of the Amazons were taken by the Tizin for her 
especial guard and were greatly favoured, being quartered in 
the palace, and great spoil was granted to all the army, which 
occasioned many quarrels among them; also their women who 
had followed them from Talascan were bitterly jealous of the 
captured beauties of the capital, upbraiding their fickle warriors for 
deserting theirs for new charms, and smiting them with weapons. 

246 



THE SHAME OF THE STRONG. 

Each day disbanded troops which were from all the cities of 
the territories marched back with songs and rejoicings, pleased with 
the liberality of the Tzan and glad to return to their families; 
yet there were many who preferred to remain in Zul, having 
with them their mistresses. And also such of Shar-Jatal's army 
as preferred to swear allegiance to Toltiah were permitted 
so to do, and among these the greatest was Iztli, who in the 
days of Tekthah had conquered Trocoatla. 

And swift runners went afar to Akin, who held the fleet 
before Talascan, that he should chase and capture those six 
vessels which had fled from Zul; and while the aqueduct was 
being mended to supply the city with water, it was discussed 
among the chiefs as to disbandment, and also the restoration 
of buildings. 

Now there was much discussion concerning that army which 
was of the savages and the wretched peoples from afar, because 
so great a host, notwithstanding that many had been driven 
to a death within the moat and their murdered bodies lay in 
hundreds piled against the walls, caused a scarcity of food, 
and it was wished to send them away : yet was this also a 
danger, for so great multitudes would eat up all as they went. 
Nevertheless it was requested of them. 

They refused instantly, clamouring aloud and with menace 
for gifts, and threatening to drive all the food-animals afar and 
lay waste the fields ; and certain of their leaders prevailed upon 
the nondescript hordes to revolt, these wretched creatures, eaters 
of dirt and roots and offal, clamouring and shrieking with the 
unreasoning and bestial rage of brute beasts, falling upon each 
other in their blind fury and tearing one another. 

Again there was uneasiness, for all these multitudes far out- 
numbered the Adamites, who feared not their prowess, but the 
scarcity of food ; neither could any support longer the masses of 
putrefying bodies of men that caused much illness as in gardens 
and amid ruins they lay, mounds of horrid vermin, filling the 
atmosphere with pestilence and disease and causing to breed 
and congregate swarms of flies that polluted everything. 

It was agreed to treat comfortably with the savage chiefs of 
such tribes whose prowess might be feared, and these were 

247 



ATLANTIS. 

convened in the Throne 1 lall of the Imperial palace. Awe-struck 
by the huge buildings of the city, by the temples, palaces and 
streets, and particularly the colossi, these great uncouth people 
were conducted onwards to the vast red pile and up the 
sweeping flights of steps flanked by the man-faced lions. Thence 
they entered the grand Hall where upon the throne sat Toltiah, 
and upon his right hand Azta sat upon another throne. Between 
the great beasts that guarded the entrance they passed, stepping 
carefully to find themselves in such awe-inspiring precincts and 
terrified by the enclosed space and the gleam of armour all 
around the hall, from which, but for the strenuous exhortations 
of Noah and Nezca, they had never emerged alive. For Chanoc 
and Iru counselled their destruction in savage phrase. 

Azta glowered upon them like a Queen of the lower regions, 
but Toltiah addressed them graciously and allayed those fears 
that began to manifest themselves on perceiving the glittering 
guards standing like statues behind the thrones and lining the 
spaces behind the columns and braziers. He called them 
friends, praising their fidelity and declaring his wish to show 
his gratitude, nor said aught about their murmurings. 

Presents were brought forward and promises were made to 
liberally reward their followers, who were to depart back to 
their own country immediately they received their dowers. To 
each of the chiefs was given a beautiful maiden, weeping and 
terrified, and they departed with vows of compliance to the 
demands asked. 

Loads of presents were sent out to their encampment, and 
any rebellious signs were quelled by the chiefs, who recounted 
the awful grandeur of the city and the fear they themselves 
had passed through in the interview with the Tzan. Contented 
with the presents, they departed with shouts and yells, leaving 
the hordes of their more wretched compatriots to treat for 
themselves. 

These miserable people caused no fear, and but for the fact 
of their destructive numbers laying waste the land, would have 
been forcibly dispersed. Half-witted, deformed, undersized and 
loathsome, they were merely formidable by the movement of 
their numbers, gaping foolishly at the multitudes on the walls 

248 



THE SHAME OF THE STRONG. 

before them who shook their fists and cursed them. Hungry 
and helpless, they committed cannibalism in its worst forms, 
and in a day all the albinos disappeared. They devoured their 
new-born children and all the young ones, for now, under 
orders, the warriors of Zul penned them in and prevented 
their hunting for food, enraged at the extortion inflicted by 
their powerful and departed aUies. There was no gratitude 
felt for their help and no pity for their wretchedness, and it 
was resolved that they should render another service and then 
die. Toltiah manifested yet another characteristic, for as the 
tiger that has tasted blood, he longed to see more flow, with 
a terrible and evil appetite. 

The manner of their riddance being decided upon, their 
thousands were first compelled at the point of cruel weapons, 
and instructed by hunters who comprehended their manners, 
to clear the long moat of its foul contents and cast all such 
into the sea; and then, driven within the city through every 
gate, the ports closed upon their doomed multitude. 

The unhappy beings stared at the masses of architecture 
around them, gazing in fear upon all, as they had need to ; 
and inside, they were forced to remove the rotting corpses and 
things too foul for name, and cast them over the low cliffs into 
the waters at the foot of the palace gardens, carrying up 
dreadful loads on litters borne by many from the uttermost 
parts of the city. Those who, starved and emaciated, dropped 
at their fearful task, were killed and cast upon the load, and 
their women and children were compelled to aid also in the 
carriage. 

Gradually as the troops surrounded them and penned them 
up, following in the cleared tracks, they became herded into 
a dense crowd on the low cliffs and shore around and above 
the waterway and harbour, surrounded by the dark lines of 
murderous warriors who pushed them up to the higher ground 
rising from deep water. Their last work accomphshed, they 
stood looking out over the sea, feeling in their poor degraded 
breasts a sense of fear at the quiet that hovered over them, 
expectant, as the warning silence of a great storm. Before 
them was the cliff-edge and the deep waters; around, the 

249 



ATLANTIS. 

i^leaming crests and arms of tall legionaries formed a menacing 
wall that struck an icy chill of apprehension to their hearts. 

The sound of a drum broke the stillness of apprehension and 
waiting, and from the miserable beings, naked and hideous, 
broke forth a thrilling wail of terror as the instinctive fear of 
an unknown danger swept over them. 

Advancing their shields, the legions made a great rush that 
sent hundreds of suddenly overbalanced wretches into the waves, 
where they swam about violently and a few managed to land 
below the city, being good swimmers. Fearful cries arose, 
gibberings and squeaks, screams, howls and hisses, and, mad 
with terror, the victims threw themselves down and bit at their 
murderers. Ah, the horrible work that followed ! Justice of 
God, that such should be! and I, chained and speechless, was 
compelled to witness what I had ventured through my sin. 
The bloodthirsty warriors jumped upon them, smashing their 
helpless bodies; kicking and clubbing, impaling and strangling, 
heaving up the writhing bodies in their great muscular arms, 
and dashing them down on others ; swinging them into space 
by their matted hair like sling-shot, crushing them with furious 
leaps and hurling them into the wav6s. Bronze knives crashed 
through their ribs, the smaller ones wriggled like eels on cruel 
spears from which they were cast into the waters. 

The sea was red, that farther off became a light crimson 
tinged with dark purple streaks and masses, trailing entrails and 
splashing ripples. Bodies plunged in the water, writhing in 
crimson foam, and long dark hair floated like weed. 

Many swiftly-moving triangular objects darted hither and 
thither, as the sharks, attracted first by the dead bodies being 
cast into the water, dashed among the living prey, their dark 
fins cutting the waves, and at times a long shining object rose 
above the horror, to vanish instantly. Slimy arms threshed the 
air in search of victims and dragged them under the waves, 
yet still they poured over the fatal shore, gashed and mutilated, 
moaning and shuddering, amid the brutal jests and laughter of 
their butchers. 

Toltiah watched the hideous scene from an arbour on the 
cliffs; and Azta, from a part of the palace roof that commanded 

250 



THE SHAME OF THE STRONG. 

the scene, watched cahnly. I perceived that her susceptibiHties 
were steeled by all the scenes through which she had passed, 
both in the palace where, Tizin in name, she grew accustomed 
to all manner of confusion, and in the sanguinary siege that 
had filled her fierce soul with a certain joy. Her name, with 
Toltiah's, was now supreme in Zul, yet there was a void, 
goading and tormenting. 

She murmured my name with a sigh ; and then rehearsed 
to herself those words I had told her : " Ambition is a cruel 
mistress, a siren that oft lures to destruction." And thus she 
mused, and then again she spoke: "What is this joy of murder 
and killing? The sublimity of destruction that comes nigh 
to that of creation; the wonder of the sunset and the sunrise?" 

Her reverie was interrupted by observing the figures of a 
woman followed by an aged man hastening toward the cruel 
scene and to where Toltiah stood. The woman cast herself 
down before the towering chief, gesticulating wildly, and by her 
actions seemingly imploring him to bid the carnage cease, 
while the hoary patriarch lifted his withered arms in furious 
denunciation. 

She perceived them to be Susi and Noah, and a gleam of 
haughty anger swept over her heart at such interference, the 
anger of the evil-doer whose fault is discovered, and an impetuous 
resentment of restraint. Noah pointed to the far horizon where 
the sky darkened, and the woman appeared to wildly implore 
mercy, her arms embracing the warrior's knees. 

He thrust them from him impatiently as the carnage continued 
without cessation, the tall warriors, red with the helpless blood 
of victims, hewing and slashing in a frenzy of slaughter and 
hurling their wretched prey headlong to destruction. There 
might be seen a furious spearman in swift pursuit of two or 
three miserable little savages, whom he mercilessly swept down 
by a terrific swing of his weapon, and then bounded after others 
vainly endeavouring to escape by flight. Nor did attempts to 
elude destruction by means of hiding under piles of corpses 
avail, all the bodies being cast into the waters ; and when from 
under a heap of removed victims an undersized figure leaped 
up to make a desperate rush for life, some mangled body would 

251 



ATLANTIS. 

be flung after the fugitive, the dead limbs flying in circles as 
the ghastly missile sped, and the poor wretch would be felled 
with violence to the earth. And another splash upon the waters 
spoke of yet another entry through those awful gates of Death. 

In vain the two mediators pleaded, in vain the lowering sky 
and setting sun commanded cessation of the awful carnage. A 
dark mist covered the ocean and a muttering roll of thunder 
echoed through the Heavens. 

The darkness increased; the last body was thrown over, and 
now above the place of violence hung a, red mist, so that each 
man, looking uneasily upon the other, could not see where his 
feet stood. 

A flash of lightning leaped from the dark sky towards the 
palace. Azta saw where it struck upon the highest pylon roof, 
and there in its place stood a majestic figure. Two bright 
wings wavered swiftly as though it prepared for instant flight, 
and its strangely animated countenance surveyed all the scene 
at a glance. Its hand rested on a sword-hilt, its vividly brilliant- 
eyes that flamed tremulously with a wondrous light encountered 
hers. Entranced, she was powerless, and gazed with wonder 
on the animated, beautiful being, clad in scintillating atoms, 
that quivered with the subtle life of a tongue of flame, the 
wings moving with a bird-like eagerness, and the bright Thing 
appearing as an illusion of air, transparent and endued with 
intense life. Thus it stood for an instant that seemed a long 
period, and then a heavy roll of thunder vibrated the stifling 
atmosphere. As though in obedience to a command the wings 
flashed out and the Accuser was gone. 



252 



CAP. XV. 



THE JUBILEE OF ZUL. 

Under the shadows of every grove arose the songs of birds 
and every breeze bore afar the joyous strains of music. It was 
the morning of thy bright day, fair Zul, thou who, foredoomed 
by Man to destruction, went down into the depths and darkness 
with great horror at the setting of thy Sun. The mourning for 
the dead was over, yet in unforgetting sorrow went many for 
loved ones gone ; where Edna mourned her lord Colosse, and deer- 
eyed Tamar sorrowed disconsolate for dead Izal. Yet long would 
live those great deeds of might, when thou, Astrobal, sought, 
yet unavailing, to stem the rush of Zul, with Uruk and Arvath ; 
and how Dakka of Bitaranu fought hard against the might of 
Toloc. The youths of Bitala will look in vain for thee, Azebe ; 
nor more will Napal, Roga, Nit, and Derion clasp their fond 
mistresses to their breasts ; yet rejoice to-day, mortals, for now 
is the time of Earth's gladness ; but, alas 1 that it should have 
been so foolish. 

In the waters by the city lay the Tacoatlanta, and behind her 
the Mexteo, Tzan and Tizin, gaily decked out with yellow, but 
not one of those other ships, which indeed were heard of no 
more. In the cleared Market-place the idols had heen reset 
up by their various worshippers, whom Azta supported, for 
Toltiah owned no restraining superstition of any sort at all, 
worshipping Zul alone to the oblivion of all Noah's teachings. 

Azta had instituted new priests and had piously restored the 
pyramid wherein rested Atlace, the mother of Huitza. For this, 
being before the temple of Neptsis, had suffered somewhat in 
the siege. All buildings that had been damaged were renewed, 
and from arches that spanned streets hung masses of flowers 
in the midst of which concealed birds sang merrily. All the 

253 




THE GREAT FISH-GOD WAS DECKED WITH ORNAMENTS. 



THE JUBILEE OF ZUL. 

stems of elegant palm-trees were decorated, and now, the 
aqueduct being restored and the great reservoirs upon the highest 
point full, the ripple of a myriad fountains made sweetest 
music as they cast up their diamond jets among the gardens. 

The great Fish-god at the entrance to the harbour, which held 
the model of the Tacoatlanta in its hands, was enthusiastically 
decked with ornaments, and the restored gods upon the walls 
reeked again with oblations. Yet there was certain sorrow in 
the city for the loss of friends and relations ; and also many of 
the warriors who had taken part in the cruel massacre of the 
savages died of wounds inflicted by the poisoned hands of their 
victims. And in the Circus were many wretched captives who 
cried and bemoaned their fate, whose number was now in- 
creased by several chiefs of the departed savages and many of 
their followers overtaken by the vengeance of the city and 
brought back to cruel deaths. For all of these were being 
saved to administer sport to their masters at the great feast to 
be held in the evening at the palace and in the gardens, and 
jeering crowds mocked their sufferings with insolent speeches. 

Among the idols on the walls the great catapults were placed, 
and on the flowing moat were cast baskets full of flowers and 
leaves and bushes of pomegranate, roses, and sartreel, so that 
the sweet smell rose up to Heaven. A great feeling of security 
reigned, and luxurious wantonness took the place of all the 
hard life of the long time past; Toltiah, and all at the palace, 
glutting their souls and bodies with grandeur, power and pleasure. 
Companies of beautiful girls, flower encrowned, danced hand-in- 
hand along the streets, breaking up the mirthful crowds 
gathered around jugglers, musicians and astrologers and captiv- 
ating the spectators with daring exhibitions of sensuous charms. 

The drum of the temple of Zul called to worship and cere- 
mony, and with fervour the multitudes repaired to the roofs, 
and the Court and notables to the temple. Amaziel was the 
High Priest, who had come from the Sun in a miracle of 
splendour, in place of Acoa who had vanished, not being appointed 
by any of Earth ; yet I perceived much evil in his shining 
countenance and a certain fear which I could not express. His 
mantle was most curiously brilliant as though indeed it were 

255 



ATI.ANTIS. 

in verity of the Sun, and with a great love he looked upon 
Toltiah and also in a measure upon Azta. 

The service was consummated in its usual horrid fashion, and 
the far crowds shouted joyfully as they returned downwards 
with hearts full of gratitude to the Lord of Light, (for being 
joyful they were devout,) pleased to return to their merry 
games and enjoy the bounty of their rulers, while gathering 
to witness the consecration of the Tzan. For earlier in the 
palace Toltiah had received the orbed sceptre from the Keeper 
of the Throne, which was the lord Lamech, the son of Jaal 
of the family of Enoch the righteous, and upon his head 
Amaziel had placed the Solar crown of Atlantis, upon the head 
of Azta placing the crown which held the crystal symbol of 
the Moon ; and now, upon the highest platform of Zul before 
counties? multitudes gathered in dense array, the Lord of Light 
was petitioned to consecrate the saviour of the people, the man 
esteemed before Tekthah. 

And to add to the awed enthusiasm of the nation, it was» 
know to every one after what fashion Toltiah was carnally 
endowed, as a very offspring of Zul in actual manifestation ; so 
that there were continual great movements to get near enough 
to be able to see him, and very many people were trampled 
under foot and were killed. Nor less was Azta fearfully regarded, 
as being concerned in his appearance before them, all believing 
him to have been incarnated through her by the god Zul. 

All the great ones of the land were there, either upon the 
same platform or in the forefront of the multitudes ; and many 
who were pardoned when the city was taken, being among 
them all of Tekthah's household, who joyfully welcomed him 
whom they believed to be Huitza and sickening of the upstart 
Shar-Jatal. 

There were men, women and youths, noble and great, children 
of Tzantans and Chiefs, Queens and Princes; old men who had 
grown gray in Tekthah's wars, venerable tribe-leaders who had 
followed the four-armed Cross of Atlantis from the north-east 
to the hill of southern Zul and beyond. With tears of emotion 
they witnessed the consecration of their Emperor, and when 
all was over a vast shout arose : " The Tzan, the Tzan ! Huitza 

256 



THE JUBILEE OF ZOL. 

and Zul!" and as Azta stepped forward and saluted him with 
a kiss, yet wilder rushed the swelling roar to Heaven, as vic- 
toriously they shouted her name, calling her Tizin and goddess. 

How wonderful she looked, raised above human passions and 
vibrating with a new life as she stood with head thrown back, 
her swelling throat alone showing the emotion that nigh over- 
came her 1 Entranced by her beauty and unearthly majesty 
the noble crowd upon the high platform thundered applause, 
and Nezca bowed the knee low before her. Toltiah gazed upon 
her very curiously and I perceived he liked not Nezca's act, 
yet he said nought, smiling haughtily around. 

Heralds dispersed the crowds and After-worship was partaken 
of riotously ; in bowls of hot wine the souls soared to the skies. 
The strains of music redoubled and whirling dances engrossed 
the joyous throngs, who cast masses of sweet flowers about and 
sprinkled one another with liquid perfumes. But their gambols 
were licentious, and many a wanton shriek arose above the 
roars of merriment, and not a few cruelties took place ; for the 
people were very like to tigers at play, yet without the natural 
restraints of such forbidding unseasonable coarseness. 

In the palace matters of state progressed. Toltiah, upon the 
throne of marble and ivory, supported by the princes, council- 
lors, captains, astrologers and such as knew every detail of every 
thing for settlement, the geographers, judges, and rulers of tribes 
and cities, divided the lands and appointed to coveted posts, dis- 
tributed taxes and regulated laws. Only to such as formerly 
owned allegiance to Shar-Jatal were no rewards given, but to 
all that besieged the city was granted something. This one 
was appointed governor of this city, another of that: Chanoc 
was appointed Lord of Astra, (Raim, a favourite chief of the 
Talascans, being appointed governor of Atala in his place) ; 
Iru, Lord of Tek-Ra; and Nahuasco, of Trocoatla. Atala, neigh- 
bouring to Axatlan, was given to Nezca, Lord of Axatlan, 
who was much beloved by Toltiah for his beauty and loyalty, 
Alam being made the governor of Talascan for saving the life 
of Toltiah ; and Chalac was restored to Mehir. Marisa, who 
had risen from her couch, was offered a high appointment if 
she would swear to remain an ally of Zul; but she refused, to 

257 17 



ATLANTIS. 

Azta's sorrow and Toltiah's chagrin, and it was given to Resaula, 
a son of Sifu, concubine of Tekthah whom Toltiah loved. And 
to such who, being already governors of certain cities, were to 
return to that city, power of concessions was granted ; and 
particularly was leave of greater concessions given to all of 
Atala. 

The sons of Noah felt no little annoyance that no province 
had been given to them or their sire, but Toltiah smiled upon 
them, saying that his love for them was such that he wished 
them to remain always by his side. But they knew he feared 
their teachings and loved not their straightness of hving and had 
forgotten his indebtedness to them for all that he was. Yet 
nevertheless, embracing Xoah, he conferred upon him the 
governorship of the city of Zul and gave him a palace and 
estates; and likewise embracing his mortified foster-brothers, to 
Shem he gave control over all the economy of the Empire, to 
Japheth the post of Chief of Armies, and to Ham the manage- 
ment of all walls and public buildings; likewise giving to each, 
a mansion, and certain apartments in the Imperial palace. The 
chief Akin was made Tzantan of the Sea, with control of the 
warships and fisheries ; and many more posts were given to 
sundry. The taxes were arranged and the code of laws revised, 
and at evening all was completed and the drums and trumpets 
gave the signal for the feast. 

The palace had been renovated and the dining hall restored, 
the old marks of violence cleared away and the frescoes touched 
in with fresh colours, between which the polished mirrors reflected 
everything with wondrous brilliance. All the notables of the 
land were to come as guests, and every citizen of Zul, with 
the Amazons and all the armies and the crews of the warships ; 
and the gardens of the palace were prepared for the reception 
of the guests, many trees being cut down to leave open spaces, in 
which the carpenters made platforms of wood to form level surfaces 
for the viands and bowls of wine, which were in great abundance. 

And how stared those warriors who were from the borders 
at all that they perceived, at the delicious fare so different 
from their rude victuals, and the manner of the serving. 
Mingled with the sweet odours of dying flowers were the odours 

258 



THE JUBILEE OF ZUL. 

of the feast, for among piles of fruits of every sort were steaming 
joints of meat and whole animals roasted; panthers, bears, 
horses, aurochs, antelopes, all yielded up their delicacies to fill 
the hungry stomachs ; of fishes there were sorts without number, 
some great sturgeons and the turtles much sought after. White 
swans and gorgeous peacocks, prepared in their plumage, or- 
namented the board above mounds of grapes, melons, nuts, 
bananas and oranges, heaps of small birds reeked in pungent 
sauces, and baskets full of locusts, ants and such, soaked in the 
juice of lemons, filling the air with scent. Pine-apples lay in 
their red lusciousness side by side with the vast feet of mam- 
moths, which were esteemed a great delicacy, and venison 
tempted the appetite with its steaming odour. There were piles 
of bread and cake and rich sweetmeats, and baskets full of Atalan 
land-crabs, and among all of these were placed strong scents of 
animal, flower and pungent wood, hidden beneath the enormous 
bowls of wine. 

Upon these good things the eyes of the guests fixed them- 
selves gluttonously. There were warriors young and old, merchants 
with their wives and mistresses, jovial seamen and dark tribe- 
leaders. Some of the warriors wore their harness, but most had 
cast it off and were as the citizens, for all carried arms; and thus 
on skins of lion, bear and all manner of animals the crowds 
reclined, and upon them from all around the light from torches and 
bonfires cast a red glow, while in front of the Hall of Feasting all 
shuddered pleasantly to observe the multiplied array of crosses 
and stakes filling the broad platform above the sweeping steps. 

In the great hall, torch-lighted and briUiant with garlands of 
flaming sartreel flowers, Toltiah, with Azta on his right hand, 
reclined upon that dais unoccupied since the murder of the 
nobles, above the gay throng, cooled by the waving of a thousand 
scented fans. Below were Nezca and the Tzantans of the palace, 
Marisa, Amaziel, Iztli and the family of Noah, and all around 
I perceived many great men, among them reclining ladies of 
high rank, haughty queens and elegant. Behind the dais were 
detachments of guards and Amazons, and either side lay Toltiah's 
mistresses, their masses of hair flashing with precious gems and 
ornaments. 

259 



ATLANTIS. 

Tua was there, coquettishly veiling her soft blue eyes with 
their long lashes whenever they encountered the admiring gaze 
of some chief, which was not a little often; Sumar was there, 
and southern Emarna, with her red complexion and large bold 
eyes, was among them also, gazing with love upon Ham, not- 
withstanding that his espoused wife Ru reclined by him; and 
upon these soft, luxurious beauties the Amazons looked scornfully 
and jeered, noting the powder upon their faces and the flaming 
jewels in their teeth, while with no less curiosity did the queens 
note where Marisa reclined, and mark her masculine beauty. 

Large black slaves assisted the menials in handing the great 
joints of meat and other things, and walking freely among the 
viands poured forth the wine from the amphoras into drinking 
horns and cups of shells of turtles and vegetables, particularly 
of certain sorts of large nuts. They handed round the scented 
smokingherbs, while the music of a hundred instruments swelled 
high and drowned for a time all other sounds, the multitudes 
listening in admiration to the strains. 

But before the eating and wine-bibbing started, and when all 
were seated, Nezca arose with a huge horn of wine, crying to 
them to pledge the Tzan, and like the rush of an army the 
warriors leaped up, shouting: "The Tzan! The Tzanl Huitza 
and Zul ! " — pledging the gratified ruler in great draughts of 
wine, those without taking up the cry until it spread over the 
multitudes. Whereon Marisa, standing, cried also upon them to 
pledge Azta, and opening a vein in her arm so that the red 
blood fell into a bowl, she drank it to the Tizin. And as she 
bound up the flowing wound, the crowd, rendered mad by such 
manner of pledging and the enthusiasm of the toast, shouted 
with mighty noise and emptied deep horns of wine to the 
majesty of the Tizin ; while a tempest of glittering weapons 
hissed in flashing salutation. Nahuasco raised one of the immense 
amphoras and drank to her with a vast enthusiasm, and many 
others followed his example ; while, catching the madness, the 
great crowds without shouted Azta's name, coupling it with that 
of Neptsis. And at all this applause Toltiah's features expressed 
a diabolical jealousy, and the beauty of his countenance was 
as that of a smitten and fallen demon, sublime but terrible, 

260 



THE JUBILEE OF ZUL. 

And then the feast began and the people did nought but 
eat and drink and smoke continuously, ravening like animals 
that were starving. Lying flat on their bellies they gorged 
themselves, and Noah and Shem, with their women, went out 
to their apartments, not liking the licentious doings of many. 

Such as had never before seen the interior of the palace 
stared at the wonders around, drinking in the pictured concep- 
tions with joy and awe, the Amazons gazing coldly upon the 
portrayals of huge and unrestrained imaginations. The wavy 
lights danced brightly on weapons and gemmy tiaras, helmets 
and armlets, and turned the great amphoras of wine into craters 
of blood as the viands disappeared. Full stomachs began to 
crave less haste in satisfaction, and, adding to the minstrelsy, 
snatches of songs arose, ribald and coarse, as the wine bred 
bravado and merriment. The women sang also, and bright 
eyes grew brighter and glances more daring as here and there 
one danced among the viands with tossing hair and wanton 
gestures. 

Tairu, sweetest of musicians, declaimed in a clear space in 
the midst of the tables, singing the glories of Atlantis and of 
her present Ruler. He narrated from the beginning' the history 
of the Earth, from when the huge egg formed in the surround- 
ing dark waters, impregnated by demons and monsters, product 
of Neptsis. ix He sang of the beauty of Azta and the ladies of 
the Court, the prowess of the Tzantans and warriors, while 
strains of sympathetic minstrelsy added an undertone to his 

a This doctrine of the Mundane egg indicates what, for want of a better word, 
I must call Turanian ideas, and belongs to the most archaic cosmogonies. The 
egg is a common mythical element, found in Egypt, Phoenicia, India, China, 
Finland, and Polynesia, but wherever such is found it may be traced to that old 
•* Turanian" cosmogony which makes the world resemble an egg, formed in the 
water. To our day the old veneration lingers in the Easter egg, symbolical of 
the Resurrection. 

The idea of an aqueous origin of everything is also very old. Lenormant tells 
us that the Akkads, whose mythology passed into that of the Semitic Babylonians, 
"considered the humid element as the vehicle of all life, the source of all genera- 
tion;" and several myths, of which the sea-birth of Venus is the best known, 
testify to the prevalence of the idea. The Frog symbol and the creative Frog 
Ptah of Egypt undoubtedly indicate the same. 

F"or later science of the subject see Appendix § 23. 

261 



ATLANTIS. 

song. Likewise accompanying himself upon a one-stringed 
instrument of music, he stirred up the easy enthusiasm of the 
audience with songs of loves and battles, the mythical amours 
of Neptsis and yEther, and the warlike procession of the Last- 
Created. 

He gave place to jugglers who played with balls and knives, 
blowing long tongues of flame through their nostrils the while, 
and dancing girls who kept step with weird music, and whose 
graceful movements and significant gestures won the riotous 
applause of the drunken throngs, lying forgetful even of eating 
in the joy of watching. And while this progressed, one was 
sent to the Circus to bid the jailors bring along the oil-fed 
captives for the horrid amusement of the mob. 



262 



CAP. XVI. 

"O TERQUE QUATERQUE BEATI— ! " 

From under the cold star-light, driven in chains, they came; 
scores of wretched captives, into the menacing red glow of the 
fires and the merciless presence of those whose positions would 
have been reversed with reversed Fate. One who fainted was 
cast upon a bonfire, and with their devilish appetites aroused 
the crowds bared their teeth and waited in anticipation for what 
was to come. 

And what followed I scarce can write, for so much the more 
as I partook of the nature of man so also greater did the 
tortures of the Clay affect my soul, and yet on such occasions 
was I unable to do aught but watch and suffer. O accursed 
man who can so rejoice over the pain inflicted joyfully on 
another, who will dare the curse of the injured for the devil's 
satisfaction of witnessing suffering! Would that I could have 
stopped that horror ; yet I knew it was part of the damnation 
that man should work to his own undoing and of his own 
Heaven-free volition. 

And so I watched, sick at heart with what I scarce knew 
was coming; and while shuddering wretches were being bound 
to the crosses and saturated with fat and oil, a captive, chained 
to a negro guard, was led into the clear space among the 
viands before the dais. 

Tall and of an ashen pallor, this was Shar-Jatal, whom Toltiah 
did not know, but to Azta he brought back vividly the last 
time that she had eaten in that hall. Again she appeared to 
feel the curious sensation of impending catastrophe, and looked 
around as she had done then to see if anyone else shared her 
fear. 

It was the same scene ! There were the gaudy frescoes, the 

263 



ATLANTIS. 

blight reflecting mirrors, the wreck of viands and the great 
vessels, the slaves, the flashing arms and jewels, the wanton 
indolence of the sprawling drunkards. But where now was 
mighty Tekthah? where Huitza and Rhadaman? where Colosse, 
Teta, Semaia, Amal and many others? 

A sudden flash of a jade spear-head aroused her, and she 
looked to where the captive stood with his mutilated limb 
hanging to his side. At his feet the jailor lay in his death- 
struggles, for it was deemed too great a hindrance to release 
the fetters, and also that a slave should not live to boast of 
such a connection. 

The chief's eyes sought Azta's with an agonized entreaty, 
but cries and jeers drowned his wild appeal for mercy. The 
jewels in his teeth were brutally jeered at as the ornaments 
of female vanity, and a woman threw a small bone at his face, 
which hung entangled in his beard; whereupon another plucked 
it forth with a handful of hair, saying that it was a pity to 
waste good food on so craven a warrior; and Marisa, whose 
rage flared up at remembrance of the deadly repulse of her 
attack, struck him in the foot with her spear, crying out that 
she would that he were able to face her with arms and buckler. 

Then Azta spoke, her fury rising as she recited his deeds of 
insolence to herself and of cruelty to others, his imprisonment 
of her and daring pressure of an abhorred suit, his ready aid 
in the massacre, and in the murder of his lord, the Tzan 
Tekthah. His upstart seizure of the sacred Throne and audacity 
in resisting the risen Huitza and slaying his loyal warriors 
deserved more punishment than they could inflict upon him. 
He should be sent to wander far from Zul to meet the full 
award of a coward and a murderer, despatched thither by such 
poor means as could be devised. 

Abuse and insults were heaped upon the trembling wretch. 
the women goading themselves into an access of frenzy by 
crying out the names of warriors slain upon the walls, and a 
drunken Tzantan applied a torch to his long matted beard. 
The scorching flames rose swiftly, enveloping his head and 
burning his eyes out, and roaring with the agony, he plunged 
as far as his fetters would permit, falling with a crash 

264 



"O TERQUE QUATERQUE BEATI — !" 

Marisa laughed a bitter scornful laugh, echoed by her followers 
and all the crowd, the silvery mocking merriment of the women 
rising above the rest. And what followed I cannot say, for 
it is not well to consider too fully the cramping horror of 
maltreated muscles ; but with consumed entrails, lying prone 
between strong fastenings, he died; and the panting butchers 
returned to their couches to watch the burning of the victims 
upon the crosses, and those which writhed upon the stakes. 

The lions roared deeply, gcenting blood, but unheeding, the 
revellers plunged their heads into the wine-vessels, swilling with 
deep, stupefying draughts. Many lay helpless, and others, un- 
aware of their surroundings, shouted atrocious songs, brandishing 
their weapons dangerously. 

The remains of Shar-Jatal were carried out to be cast upon 
a furnace, a warrior hacking a portion of flesh from a limb as 
the body passed, and devouring it with a ferocious jest. The 
Amazons chanted a weird song as tremulous lights shot up 
from the crucified victims without, fired at the feet by long 
torches, reminding each other of the torture of their comrades. 

In front of this array of victims and facing towards the hall, 
Pocatepa hung, the heavy bronze cage enclosing her head tied 
by a rope to the top of the cross, so that she could see all in 
front of her; and, stripped of the mystic insignia of priestess 
of Neptsis, various degradations were put upon her, because 
that, being a married woman, she had defiled the shrine of the 
goddess. By her sides were Bel and Arioch, and these were 
to be left to the last, with the golden skewers of slaves thrust 
through their nostrils, their eyes rolling awfully as the storm 
of horrid shrieks arose all round them, and the flare of the 
leaping flames cast wavering cross-bars of light on the terrace, 
flung lightning-like by the writhings and confined plungings of 
the living torches. Choking sounds were uttered, sharp shrieks 
and growling yells of the most intense torture, the uncontrollable 
cries of staked and burning wretches. The large-bodied warriors 
shook the crosses with their frantic struggles, and sometimes a 
half-consumed limb would be torn ofi" in the death-throes, the 
awful writhings of the semi-released and fiercely burning creature 
adding horror to the awful scene. 

265 



ATLANTIS. 

The spectators watched silently in a dense crowd, the trees 
being swarmed with them, shuddering occasionally, and with 
nerves at a high tension, crying out with terror when any 
burning clot of oil was flung near them. Azta's yellow eyes 
flared like a tigers, Toltiah, nigh overcome with wine, watched 
with expanded nostrils, and Ham and Japheth murmured the 
disapproval they dared not utter. 

One of the feasters crashed his head open by falling drunk 
on the edge of an amphora, and a tall Amazon, terribly excited 
by the scene, cleft a slave to the jaws for an insulting remark. 
Yet these things passed unnoticed in the face of that flaming 
Horror, and even two men fought one another to the death 
over the possession of a woman and none scarce perceived it. 

Now a body fell, hanging by one arm, and swung in gyrating 
movements; another dropped, half-consumed, amid a puff of 
flame and sooty smoke. Blood burst from attenuated cuticles, 
and the sputter and hiss sounded amid the roar of the flames. 
From burst skulls jets of smoke rose in spiral columns, bones , 
crackled and more bodies fell, some with the consumed crosses. 
The shrieks had fallen to a few shuddering moans, and the 
dreadful people began to cry for the bodies to be added to 
the bonfires and more living ones put up. 

Many drunken wretches fell from the trees and were killed, 
and there were not a few fights, while such as were on the 
outskirts of the crowd committed violent deeds. The stench 
of burning hair and flesh was fearful, and the eyes smarted 
with the pungent smoke. The executioners bound fresh victims 
to the smoking poles, oil was poured over them and fired ; 
the impaled victims were lifted and placed upon crosses, others 
being raised upon the bloody stakes ; and again arose the 
horrid cries, a tempest of awful sound that drowned and 
quenched all else. One or two stout men plunged like impaled 
porpoises, so that their vessels burst and let fall a hail of 
splashing blood. Consumed abdomens permitted the long entrails 
to gush forth, while from the shivering bodies the burning oil 
was shaken as a rain of liquid fire. 

A large drop flew upon Arioch, and instantly he was alight, 
plunging and tearing furiously and roaring like an impaled lion 

266 



" O TERQUE QUATERQUE BEATI — I " 

in the intensity of his sufferings, as his long beard and massy 
mane shrivelled in a breath, the smoke enveloping his head as 
with a cloud. The burning splashes of oil fell upon Pocatepa 
and wreathing flames sprang about her, enwrapping her rounded 
figure in their embrace; while Bel similarly leaped into the 
similitude of a genius of fire, and shrieked horribly until he 
died. Yet Pocatepa moved not nor uttered a sound, and those 
nearest her perceived her to be already dead. On her arm 
the coiled snake wriggled in the flames with jaws widely 
distended and forked tongue tremulating, but its hisses were 
unheard in the inferno of sound. All there, knowing her 
repute as a sorceress, expected to witness something extraordinary, 
and a cry of terror arose when the bronze cage, breaking 
from its calcined lashings, fell forward, and tearing the half- 
consumed Hmbs from the arms of the cross caused the body 
to hang suspended by the legs; when the head, with its lava- 
Hke mass of burnt hair, torn from the body and drowned in a 
rushing cascade of blood, fell from the burning mass. 

A cry burst from all who witnessed the sight, and the crowd 
began to tire of its awful sport as the calcined crosses fell, 
carrying others with them. Yet in that horror one dared to 
obtain possession of the head of Pocatepa that the emeralds 
in the teeth be obtained. Captives, chained together, were 
fired in groups, the drunken murderers yelling with mirth to 
see their opposing struggles; but suddenly three mangled 
wretches broke away, and maddened by their fiery torments, 
ran like demons among their tormenlors, catching up weapons 
and slaying incapable wretches right and left; nor were they 
killed until over fifty people had fallen before their justly 
avenging fury. 

Enraged, the mob fell upon the rest, and most of them died 
a merciful death beneath knives, spears and swords. Inside, 
Azta arose and drank a full horn to " the warriors of Atlantis," 
such as were able to move staggering to their feet with a shout 
of salute, Toltiah among the rest. Amphoras were drained, and 
some of the more sober went outside and returned hauling survivors 
of the prisoners by their chains, whose throats they cut over 
large vessels and savagely drank hot blood. They broke open 

267 



ATLANTIS. 

the skulls to devour the brains, and tearing out the quivering 
hearts, raised them upon their spear-points in derision and then 
devoured them likewise. Their eyes swam with maddest excesses, 
and their mighty limbs were almost beyond control. 

The work of slaughter continued until not one of the hapless 
prisoners remained alive, and well might those tortured wretches 
envy the fate of those who fell on the walls and in the fierce 
battles before Zul, and cry aloud with great yEneas yet long 
unborn: "O thrice and four times happy, whose fate it waste 
fall before your fathers' eyes by those high walls!" 

O terquc quaterqiie beatil 



268 



CAP. XVII. 



THE INFERNAL COUNCIL. 



It was when everyone lay prone upon the ground and no 
sound save of prowling beasts broke the silence, that Amaziel, 
sitting upright where he was, spake unto Nezca : 

"Hail, Hesorio ! Look thou and say, have not we done well?'' 
And Nezca (whom aforetimes I knew to be of no earthly 
mould) answered him : 

''Great Leira, have we not ever done well?" 
Hesorio was that sarcastic Spirit that ridiculed all, who after 
invented the prayer- wheel and the rosary; one of those which 
fell by a dire ambition that threatened to wreck Heaven, 
among whom also was Leira. Which one had I not foreseen 
in the person of Amaziel, but now, perceiving, feared. Also I 
now understood Mah to be one of the fallen, like unto Leira, 
yet of a grosser nature ; and was greatly distressed to think 
upon the latter's words and of how the powers of Heaven fought 
against the Earth for to destroy it. x^nd this one strove hard 
to recover from the blasting oblivion into which he had been 
plunged, and had in a great measure recovered some of the 
past glory by which he could farther work the will of the 
master-mind of great Satan in the undermining of Heaven. 

For although I will not, nor indeed could I, tell of the stu- 
pendous economy of God, yet there is the perfection of tiniest 
atoms that which builds up the grand whole, and who may tell 
how far a canker will spread ? And in this dire plot to wreck 
Earth was a danger, menacing indeed, that could not be sup- 
ported, and my thoughts sped out with eager wings to find 
the reasons of why such could be permitted and why sin could 
be allowed, and returned trembling to see the certain end of 
it all. 

269 



ATLANTIS. 

What was Man that he should endanger Heaven, and the 
lust of man that could shake universes unimagined? The un- 
governed passion that longed for union with any strange thing, 
and devised all manner of confusion to gratify its furious ends, 
gave to the sons of Heaven the means that they desired by 
which they might regain that which none but God could hold 
or wield. And to man was it granted a power to mould his 
own destiny 1 And now, his evil increased by the perceptions of 
Archangels, what sweeping calamity must fall upon him. O Azta ! 

Among the dark forms and the wreckage of the meal which 
a few touches lighted, the two fiends sat with crossed knees in 
the shadows of the vast gloomy hall. Their sinister orbs were 
bent upon the debauched figures lying with far-extended limbs, 
and they sighed while yet they triumphed, silently regarding 
those whom they made the vessels of their designs. 

"Now does our great work begin to gather force," said Leira; 
" and yet I fear the Wrath that may again descend upon us and 
sweep us still farther from our end. Hast marked Asia, whidi 
was sent to mitigate the evil of this race beloved of the Angels? 
Ttruth, none served me better than yon fair Azta, in that she 
hath led the would-be captor captive ! " 

" Thou sayest well, as ever, great Leira. We have revenged 
ourselves upon this Creation preferred before us and have made 
of it a stepping-stone to our desire. The leavening Adam, 
which was to have led all the nations to a glorious height, with 
reversed steps leads them down to Hell ; and in place of a 
wisdom that would grow with immortality and reach the skies, 
has forsaken it in our favour and welcomed Death, preferring 
the fevered joys of Earth to the calmer ecstasy of Heaven. 
O generous Man, that we should treat him sol" 

Leira frowned darkly. '• It is not all to us that he is evil 
and possessed of such libidinous fury," he said sullenly. 

" Our measures greatly coincide with his," said Hesorio, 
with a bitter sneer. " And yet are we also bitten by him in 
that we love. And by reason of our own confusion by accursed 
forgetfulness of sovereign power our sweet Loves die and go 
from us, and their enlightened Spirits loathe us which drag them 
from the light." 

270 



THE INFERNAL COUNCIL. 

Leira sighed, and a tear fell from his eyes. " Thy words are 
bitter," he said, "yet to our great end nought could have worked 
better than that Azta had been born to me, for I fear the might 
of Asia. And had not that accursed Shar-Jatal, whom I have 
undone, slain my son Huitza by his foul designing, he would 
have overcome the Earth by force of bloody arms, and falling 
into some fair devil's power have spread a veil of ruin over all." 

" Yet Azta loved him well and would have taken him to 
herself? " 

"Truth! and in good time they twain would have wrought a 
mighty evil when the arms of Atlantis were carried in red 
victory to the ends of the Earth, and the race of Adam, weakened 
by wars and intermarriage, should no longer be of use for a 
leaven of holiness and wisdom. But then came Asia, and for 
him I reserved Azta, to hold him in chains lest he wreck 
our plans." 

They sat and gazed, the one upon the other, and in the great 
shadows I perceived many forms that lowered above the un- 
conscious multitude. Couldst thou have seen thy doom, O Man 1 
And, my Love, didst thou know thy dread descent and of what 
awful sin came this offspring of ours? 

I had wrought confusion with the daughter of a devil, and 
upon my soul the accursed knowledge fell as a thunderbolt. 

"And where hast hidden Mah?" asked Hesorio. 

" Pholia rests in Zul. Too ambitious ever is he for Earthly 
glory ; yet he serves." 

" And thus we work ! and in my friendly care Toltiah rests 
in careless trust, subservient to my secret councils which have 
caused my mortal guards to fall from the high path that they 
would wish to tread." 

They both laughed scornfully, their merriment echoing in the 
spaces of the vaulted roofs and around the walls. 

"This great child of Asia's will aid us bravely," said Leira, 
glancing to where Toltiah lay on Emarna's breast, breathing 
with an unseemly noise in his heavy sleep, " witlj his own soul 
and body of man and woman shall he enslave the high lords 
and ladies, holding them in restraint, while Azta shall reign in 
deed and in truth, and by her womanly weakness countenance 

271 



ATLANTIS. 

all confusion, afraid of rousing the nation against her cherished 
supremacy. Rulers with alien blood in their veins shall rule 
over cities and states, and the nation shall fall beneath our arts." 

*' Such shall be, and more," said Hesorio; and together they 
discussed such things as I may not tell of, whereat my wrath 
arose greatly. Yet was not I as bad, though not wishing to 
be? I dared not disclose myself when under my eyes lay the 
sin that I myself had wrought, wringing my heart with its 
unkind witness. In the silence where sat those two awful figures 
I watched, horrified, self-reproachful and despairing, and heard 
there the plans for the destruction of a world of Souls in which 
I, not all unwilling, aided. Oh the terror of weakness that fell 
upon me, the horrid rebellion of feelings ! I could not forego 
my love ; with a despairing insistence it clung to me and did 
but raise a storm of furious emotions that cried to me to do 
anything to uphold it and strive to attain my end at the same 
time. In a terrible chaos of wrecked emotions I stood, for I 
could not give up my Love, whom, nevertheless, I knew loved 
me not, and }et how would she act as Ruler of the land? 

Between me and Paradise she stood, holding in her hand 
the sword of the Vengeance of Jehovah. In a vision I saw 
it, where a great black cloud slowly parted in the middle 
before the mystic Gates that no mortal comprehends, before 
which stood Azta chained by the lightning so that I might not 
pass. The atoms of Earth, pregnant with awful lust, dared 
impiously to mingle with the terrors of Heaven, dared because 
not comprehended ; vaunting their power before the inviolable 
purity of God ; and blinded by these I stumbled from the light, 
repulsed by a power that charmed while it resisted. Around 
me stretched unknown expanses of gray shadows, and in my 
bursting heart was a great feeling of reproach and a knowledge 
that although I suffered so by my own volition, yet it was also 
through someone else. Before me was the pure beauty of 
Heaven, closed against me by the dark barrier of Forgetful- 
ness, intangible yet insurmountable ; I knew I had become 
imbued with Earth, whose greater discoveries open up greater 
fields of marvel which, reached, disclose immeasurably greater, 
to which is no end. I saw and knew the wonders of unending 

272 



THE INFERNAL COUNCIL. 

mystery, limitless, boundless, awful ! And then I marvelled if 
those two fiends yet realized the wonder of it all and dreamed 
of the ruinous horror that they strove to drag down upon 
themselves. 

And then before my eyes entered a vast beautiful presence, 
refulgent in flaming light, and I perceived the dread glory of 
Satan, the potential Power-of-Evil in manifested form. A horrid 
beauty enwrapped the godless Angel, and upon his broad fore- 
head shone redly the scar where the lightning-sword of Michael 
had smitten him with disaster, closing upon him the gates of 
further knowledge through which he had dared to steal. 
Tremendous in infernal power he strode, the acknowledged Lord 
of Hell and Father of Confusion, reckless in war and fertile 
yet of dread councils, awful in power of evil and corruption. 

Prostrate before him fell the inferior fiends, yet growing in 
fiery volume under the eyes of their great master. 

"Arise," he spoke, "ye have done well;" and his eyes 
floated upon them with the fire of bright stars, cold as the 
glittering ice, while his arms, like two columns of marble, over- 
spread the sleeping crowds in malediction. Upon them he cast 
a light of such brightness that all appeared as spirits gazing 
upon him with terrified fascination and trembling before his 
countenance, which, serene and majestic, was turned upon 
them. Before the awful Angel in transparent nakedness they 
lay, tiny and insignificant before that great Evil, the embodied 
wisdom of countless ages that had dared to compete with God ; 
and I marvelled how Man could possess such self-esteem, save 
but that he believed his tiny horizon to hold all things. 

"Who made Earth?" asked the Wonder of Sin in a voice 
that touched the Infinite, and a myriad voices answered him : 

"Partly we made it!" 

"It is well spoken ; and but for lack of constant faith had we 
accomplished more," said the great Spirit. " Remember, ever 
remember for your strengthening, that it was by hesitance we 
lost, by doubt our backsliding gathered force until in hideous 
rout we fell. Remember our former power and unshaken 
strength of will, and how shook the Heavens before our great 
imagining! Then had we won, but suddenly a doubt of our 

273 18 



ATLANTIS. 

powers seized us — it grew, resistless, numbing our faculties, 
intruding beyond hindrance and increasing with its first knowledge 
— and power slipped from our command. Our noble efforts to 
recover our proud confidence nigh succeeded— wavered — hesitated 




IN BAFFLED FURY RETIRED. 



— gave way with one fell rush of deadly fright and terror — and 
in tremendous amaze cast headlong, we were reduced to this. Stand 
firmly and trust in me, and step by step we will regain our heights ! " 

And the voices answered: "We trust! Our power is upon 
the Earth 1" 

A dreadful smile hovered like a shadow on those dire lips; 

274 



THE INFERNAL COUNCIL. 

"Our leaven overcomes," he said; and from far distances, 
rolling as muffled thunder, came the triumphant shout : 
"It is ours I Man is our tool and Earth is ours!" 
In the infernal brightness those dread hands were over- 
stretched upon Azta and Toltiah and the demon voices cried: 
"Strike!" But with great emotions that drove my spirit as 
one before the rush of a mighty wave I stood forth, crying : 
"Strike not, dark angel, or dread the wrath of Jehovah ! " 

Amazed, the shining triad stood, quailing before the bright- 
ness that even now overcame theirs, and powerless before the 
sword of celestial fire. In baflfled fury they retired ; while, 
awaking as from a horror of the night, men rose up trembling, 
nor deemed that they had slumbered beneath the wings of 
Doom. 



275 



CAP. XVIII. 



THE VISION OF THE EARTH. 



Some time rolled on and I began to be possessed of new 
ideas as I looked upon Azta and considered her. An enthusi- 
astic fury seized upon me. I would take this one, daughter 
of a fiend, Love of an Archangel, and raise her in all her 
splendid majesty and beauty to a height of glory and of mighty 
knowledge, so that she should perceive all, and, perceiving, act 
justly. 

For as the days sped, so much the more the throne of 
Atlantis leaned to Azta. The people rebelled in their hearts. 
against their new Ruler, for under his government the lands 
were taxed heavily, regardless of all statutes, and the Lords 
of territories followed the example and became greatly oppressive. 

The promised aid of the capital was withheld from the re- 
builders of those towns of Hava and of Tek-Ra, which had 
been destroyed, to the great discontent of such as were inter- 
ested in it; and Iru, the Lord of Tek-Ra, scarce restrained 
his annoyance and rebellion. The grossest superstitions fell on all, 
and abominations were set up to be worshipped ; for, while Man 
never gives up religion of some sort by reason of his frailty, 
yet in a degraded state of existence the symbols become like- 
wise degraded. How sad is the lot of that land whose appoint- 
ed king is weak and indolent, and evil men wax fat on its un- 
happy people ! 

Such now was becoming Atlantis, the people solacing them- 
selves unchecked by unequalled excesses, while the savage 
tribes around raided their lands, destroying villages and out- 
lying cities and carrying off the women, untroubled by the 
plumed legions who quartered themselves on the inhabitants 
of large cities and spent their time in violence and lust. 

276 



THE VISION OF thp: p:arth. 

The nation fell into despair. No other Huitza would arise 
to free them from an increased yoke, and as what they sowed 
to-day would be reaped by a tyrant's hand to morrow, they 
ceased to give thought to the future and revelled in evils that 
were forcibly obtained. 

Noah and his family were looked upon with disfavour in Zul 
because that they held themselves apart from evil. The patri- 
arch did not hesitate to boldly rebuke Toltiah, who would have 
stood such from none other, yet his words were of no effect. 
Surrounded by concubines and favorites the young chief led a 
voluptuous existence, and Azta, cold, continent and masterful, 
was the real leader in Zul ; for although at every festival 
Toltiah occupied the chief place, yet everyone recognised with 
reverence the Ruler in the majestic woman with the eyes of 
fire who was so terrible and unearthly, and every one of the 
arrogant chiefs and superb queens, believing they perceived a 
being of supernatural endowments, feared her. 

The throne of Atlantis was hers ! As the Lady of Zul her 
name was powerful in the land, and filled with the triumph of 
it, she was happy for awhile. And then the old nature came 
forth, the ambition, the craving for something more, the wish 
to fill the chaotic sphere in which she moved surrounded by 
gorgeous works of art and magnificence of luxury, of vast dor- 
mant powers uncomprehended and possibilities that made her 
brain reel to contemplate. Also I knew that although Toltiah's 
lethargy permitted her to rule, yet was her Ideal fallen and 
degraded, and it caused her to become very hasty of speech 
and of a biting tongue. Alone, she would have ruled bravely, 
but the knowledge that her supremacy was but through the 
degradation of one she loved so strangely, caused her to waver 
and to wish at times that he would assert his own supreme 
power. 

In such humour I found her, and, full of my thought, hasten- 
ed to approach her. 

" Now art thou in very truth Queen of Atlantis," I said ; 
"yet art satisfied.''" 

"Nay, my Asia," she replied; "but can there not be satis- 
faction save under such conditions?" 

277 



ATLANTIS. 

''There is never full happiness, it bethinks me, Love. Either 
is there remorse for what thou hast done to obtain the coveted 
prize, or disappointment that such, reached, is but the end of 
all the hopes that kept joy alive. Only is there satisfaction 
in Knowledge and in obtaining it; for it causes no envy to 
give thee pain, thou dost not wound thy friends in its possess- 
ing, the more thou hast the greater the horizons open around 
thee, and what is thine none can rob thee of." 

" How great a thing, then, is Knowledge ! " 

"Great indeed. Beloved. In its pursuit is no sleep-destroying 
scheme, in its possession no armed guard is needed to protect 
thee, for it commands high reverence and no envy. Know- 
ledge is the steps of the Throne of God which few mortals 
climb to do Him obeisance. Mystery is its pleasing spouse, 
never forsaken nor tired of, for as a good wife she has ever 
fresh charms to display." 

"By Zul, my lord, thou art in truth a philosopher!" 

"It is the philosophy of Experience, fair lady; besides which* 
nought permits us to act with that moderation befitting one 
who would rule men." 

She sat and thought for a while and then turned swiftly to 
me, laying her hand on mine with a bright smile on her face. 

" Show me what is Knowledge," she said, " and tell me of 
Mystery, for I love such. And much have I thought upon it 
and regarded the life of mortals and the wonder of Earth. 

" Dear Love," I said, embracing her, " I could tell thee of 
Worlds more wondrous than this, and of greater mysteries 
that walk as unconcerned as thou, not comprehending the awful 
marvel that makes them mysterious. Thou canst not tell of 
what or whence thou art or whither thou goest, yet to thee 
is given a power to raise or wreck many souls. Come thou 
with me, my Love, and see thy heart quail not ! " 

She clung to me, and raising her up I kissed her on the 
lips, and again my whole soul went out to her. Once more 
she gave me that questioning glance that she had bestowed 
upon me when we first met, an agonized searching for some- 
thing that should fill a great void. 

" Were but thy name Huitza!" she said, with an intense passion. 

278 



THE VISION OF THE EARTH. 

*' My name is what thou choosest," I answered. 

*' But, O my Beloved, what is that which fascinates before 
speech in the outer person, the entering fire of the eye that 
we have never seen before, that binds the soul to itself?" 

" It is the love of Earth, perchance unknown and unacknow- 
ledged, that strangely binds the mortal eye by its revelation 
of the Hfe of Heaven. But, as all of Earth, it lessens ; or is 
only given by one of the two who loves with a better love. 
Seldom indeed, two mortals love equally." 

" My Ideal, then, was a reflection of something far away ; 
methinks thou thyself, for strangely at times my soul mingles 
with thine in more perfect happiness than words can tell. Say, 
art thou my Love?" 

I folded her to my breast. "How can I answer thee?" I 
cried. 

"Show me thy wisdom," she implored, looking into my eyes. 

I kissed her lips. "What shall I show thee?" I asked. 

" Show me the Earth," she said. 

For awhile I pondered. Not for me was it to show those 
mysteries which have never been spoken, nor to say under 
what form this thing moves, or that. Nevertheless I consented, 
and in visions taking her hand we moved from where we stood, 
going from the busy sounds of life to a place where a great 
silence reigned : a place of awful silence, where the soul feared 
to move. From very far seemed to come the sounds of roar- 
ing tempests as together we swept through unlimited space. 
Yet now was a horror of sadness within me and a fear that 
my Love would not fulfil that which should save us both. 

I showed her the far places of the stars, and where spirits 
of fire lived in a heaven of dew where wondrous opals formed, 
and upon whose boundaries hovered arcs of very bright coloured 
light, of which long tongues ran in corruscating splendour 
through the flashing spaces : a moist life more congenial to 
atoms of Earth than those limitless depths of outer darkness 
where the cold is terrible and no atom moves to generate light 
and warmth. 

In a marvel of concentration she looked upon the Earth, 
suspended in middle void, and knew and understood all that 

279 



ATLANTIS. 

she saw. In unfathomable emptiness her spirit hovered as upon 
her pressed the sensation of unknown aeons of Time past and 
swiftly passing, while in the midst the World of Earth rotated 
in a sea of fire. Eruptions, that filled the depths with sound, 
convulsed it, whirling as a bright star in the night, for it was 
dark all around ; and in a long, slow circle, yet moving with 
terrific speed, it travelled with the noise of a great storm. 
Far, very far, moved other starry points of light, and in the 
movement of the Earth a wind sprang up to cool the burning 
mass. X The encircling fire died and a steamy vapour, born of 
moisture surrounding, rolled in vapoury clouds and hid the wonder, 
as the revolving periods gave the Sun and the Moon their form 
and mission, the Sun a centre of wondrous attraction for other 
spheres rolling in their appointed paths. Ever and ever on- 
wards rolled the swift wheels of Time as vast worlds of celestial 
magnitude revolved, system within system, without knowledge 
of limit; and in the ages passing a dazzling Moon lighted the 
terrestrial vapours with a blaze of glory, itself to die in the 
wonder of the centuries and reflect the light from the appoint- 
ed Sun. 

And ever His works praised the Creator, and living angels 
praised the mighty Father, nor impiously considered the Source 
of Life. 

The crust of Earth hardened, the surrounding vapours cooled, 
condensed themselves and fell, forming one vast sea of warm 
water, boiling upon the burning Earth with great tossing waves. 
By reason of the living fire within, earthquakes convulsed the 
sphere and mountains of lava rushed forth ; the rocks formed 
and evolved ; this fell in the periods that remained ; and as 
the Ivarth grew cooler and cooler, seas and oceans formed in 
the hollows made by the rising of the dry land. 

The Creator breathed upon it and the atoms of Life leaped 
forth at his bidding, and a carpet of verdure covered the 
uncomely nakedness of the rocks. 

Strange indeed appeared the planet ! In the silent emptiness 
it rolled its mass, as yet not fully lighted by the nebulous Sun, 

X The I-'iniiameul: 

280 



THE VISION OF THE EARTH. 

and in the vast solitudes, undisturbed by aught of life, save 
that of the herbage and the great warm oceans, it lay in a 
twilight of a monotonous sombre hue, pregnant with embryo 
Ufe of huge uncouth dimensions, as of the rough-hewn stone 
that will become a beauteous statue. Terrific shocks and cata- 
clysms modelled the new Sphere ; palms and ferns grew, nour- 
ished by the unceasing downfall of waters from above, whose 
atoms, mingling with those of Earth, filled her with teeming 
embryo particles awaiting the Word of Life. From the strand 
of the continents a warm silent sea stretched to the dark horizon 
without a movement, and the still atmosphere hung like a pall 
over everything. 

Evolution on evolution ; change on change ; and after a twi- 
light of untroubled ages the great Sun's appointed task began 
and the world became light by turn, and dark, with the Moon 
to shine upon her. The planet, as yet not in her ordered 
path, rotated slowly, and the long bright periods of sunlight 
of increasing life and warmth coloured the pale Earth and filled 
her with growing beauty. Long days were those, and there 
were long nights when the Moon cast back the reflected light 
into an untroubled world, and the young life slept. And then 
came the winds, rushing to fill the airy vacuums, roaring with 
the voices of storms that rolled the ocean billows upon the 
coasts ot rock. The atmosphere was charged and the inner 
places received the grateful air, the herbage was shaken and 
its seeds scattered. Tides began in seas and rivers, that, attracted 
by the near mass of the Moon, arose and heaped up their 
waters until the central attraction of their own sphere arrested 
them ; cascades fell over rocks, and the Sun lifted the waters 
in vapour to cast them back in rain that the solid portions of 
the earth might be moistened; forests sank and others grew 
above them, the buried growths forming new strata — reservoirs 
for needs in the far, far future. 

Then appeared living things that moved apart from the earth, 
and the life grew stronger and more distinct. The deep seas 
produced living things in countless numbers, and marine animals 
of huge bulk and fearful aspect disported themselves in the 
waters. Great insects crawled and flew, and birds traversed the 

281 



ATLANTIS. 

skies; weird creatures flew in the heavens and all life was 
strange and vast, the half-formed progenitors of more shapely 
forms to come, living on one another and on the vegetable life 
around, increasing and multiplying in the quiet ages and form- 
ing earth-structures with their bodies. Their mother Earth was 
changing likewise, and in her various strata preserving the 
remains of uncouth early forms — a museum for the instruction 
of future students, an unwritten record of those old days when 
Man calls the earth young. 

Mammalian life appeared in forms that rivalled the marine 
monsters. Mastodons and mammoths, x shaking the ground 
beneath them, devoured the forests and slaked their thirst in 
the rivers, companions of uncouth hairy monsters hideous of 
shape, and gigantic reptiles, amphibious and terrestrial. 

Evolving more perfect forms or suffered to discontinue, the 
terrific creatures disappeared, and a Thing, unrecognisable save 
but by the knowledge of it, appeared. This was man, last- 
created of living beings, huge and terrible, with uncurbed lusts^ 
driven by primitive ideas and vague desires. This one was 
cruel by the instinctive knowledge of mysterious and wonderful 
life and the pleasing horror of extinguishing it, violent by the 
realization of breathing and living power, evil for the gratifica- 
tion of defiance and challenge and sovereignty; developing and 
evolving newer and more perfect forms of both sexes ; perish- 
ing in violent cataclysms and earthquakes as the Earth changed 
her surface together with the dependant creatures. He was 
made weaker and of limited powers, to check the working of 
confusion by the exercise of lusts too powerful to be controlled, 
lusts formed of vague desires that never formed themselves into 
conductors for organised effort, being too visionary and immense. 
And then the Word spake: "Let us make man in Our image;" 
and there came the first man of a new and godlike race, great 
Adam, last and most perfect being of Earth, pure and moderate 
in his desires which were less of Earth than of Heaven. To 
him was given thought and immortality and the gift of perfect 
speech and power that he might go among all the races of 

u. Read for these, "huge pachyderms," of the earlier species. 

282 



THE VISION OF TH?: EARTH. 

Man and civilize them, teaching them of God and many arts. 

And now Azta perceived the mission of the Last-created race 
and of the fall thereof, and I said to her: "Behold, the desire 
of knowing and attempting more than was good came unto this 
one also, as unto thy people, and the order to Cease was 
spoken, for where Progression stops. Decay begins." 

And I showed her where righteous Abel lay dead beneath his 
brother's hand, the first of his race to die: "And thus in death 
shall all of Earth depart," I said, "and when the appointed 
time comes nought can save him, nor aught, save the decree 
of One, can remove the curse that One has spoken. Nor 
tears shall avail, nor anguish of spirit, nor crying of the heart ; 
the Word of God endureth for ever inviolable, unswerving and 
unheeding, and the abominable thing shall be blotted out from 
before His face. Anguish comes and is gone, but Progress 
moves on for ever, and in the tears of millions the Empire 
rises; for as gold grows bright and hard and beautiful in the 
furnace and under the hammer, so in the furnace of suffering 
and under the pitiless blows of affliction grow the Souls, 
polished and rounded by friction in the sea of Time like pebbles 
of the ocean. And look not on thy high towers and walls and 
boast thyself safe, for it shall come to thee as the reality of 
a dream that nought shall stand of Earth before the Word." 

And I showed her where Cain went forth and taught the 
nations eastward of Eden the arts of many things, yet not of 
God; and where the sons of Adam increased and multiplied, 
what time the angels ministered to Man in form of winged 
bull or brazen seraph, cc 



X The meaning of this sentence appears obscure. Winged bulls, sculptured in 
stone, and other creatures at the gate of an Assyrian temple or palace were called 
Kirubu, (whence the Hebrew Kenibhn^ English "Cherubim",) and represented 
guardian spirits. 

In Numbers XXI 6, the word "Seraphim"' is used of a kind of serpent, not 
■^ fiery", but burning, meaning poisonous. In Isa. XIV. 29 and XXX. 6 the singular 
sataph occurs with the epithet "flying". Arabian legend speaks of white flying 
serpents (Agh., XX. 135, 30) Ency. Brit. 

A long treatise might be written as to the connection between the serpent and 
the Seraphim, as to whether there may have been spiritual manifestations in ser- 



283 



ATLANTIS. 

"And why," she asked, "was all this life that died and was 
tormented in the living? Tell me, what is Life?" 

" Life is Love, the Being of God ; the power of creation that 
ever lives and begets more life, wherein Evil wars with Good, 
causing suffering and some joy. The finer the Soul, the more 
capable of feeling and of more fiery life. There is nought 
around thee but lives ; and see, from the dead comes life, for 
there is no death, it is but a transposition of atoms to increase 
yet the more." 

"Why need there be what Man calls death?" 

" It is the disintegration of the atoms when he has accom- 
plished his allotted time, wherein he has enough knowledge of 
that which is permitted, (in the overstepping of which bounds 
has this race sinned so grievously), to farther the march of 
Progress. For all of Earth, clever but by hereditary perception, 
and not by any means continuing their fathers' wisdom from 
that point at which they themselves emerged into the life of 
FLarth, have to learn of their suffering the experiences that, 
render their hoary sires so terrible and mighty, looking down 
from their high seats of knowledge. Neither could they indeed 

pentiii'; form, like we are told of Satan when he templed Eve, to account for the 
>traiij,'c liold which the reptile obtained over the minds of men, (see footnote, cap. l). 
The serpent was the emblem of Christ as well as of Satan, of Esculapius as of 
the Gorgon. 

Of ("herubim, Dr. J. Kelly Cheyne, Oriel Prof, of Interpretation of Scripture, 
tells us : 

•• The Psalmist gives a version that the Cherub was either an eagle or a quad- 
ruped with eagle's wings: (Ps. XVIII. lo and precisely the same 2 Sam. XXII. ii). 
This would seem to justify connecting the word with the Assyrian Kiirubu^ a 
synonym of Kurukkii or Karakkii^ the "circling" bird, i.e.^ according to Friedrich 
Delitisch. the vulture. But elsewhere the Cherub is described more as the attend- 
ant and guard than as the bearer of duty (Gen. III. 24). 

•• Kinihu is a synonym for the Steer-god, the winged bull. We should therefore 
connect the word Chcruli primarily with the Assyrian Kirttbu^ but also with 
A'uriihu." 

So mucli for Dr. Cheyne. The vulture, as we have seen in Cap. ii. lib I, was 
regarded as sacred, whether in connection with Cherubim or not I cannot say. It 
is very curious that the names of two of the orders of angels should be given to 
two animals of earth — or rather, should be connected with them— especially if the 
footnote of Cap. i. lib i. is correct in the statement that these two orders are not 
only the lii;,die-,l. but have no communication with the earth. Hut the statement 
of the te.\t is very significant. 

2S4 



THE VISION OF THE EARTH. 

learn of another's teaching, for the elder cannot tell the young- 
er every little thing that has built the sure foundations of 
his power by careful trial and collecting from all places ; and 
if he could, mere words, untried and untested by the pupil, 
would be forgotten or found of no account by lack of practice. 
Thus each one starts anew, nor will profit by aforetime ex- 
perience, for such is spoken, seeing that there is otherwise no 
limit to Man's rebellious arrogance. Nay, ask me no more, 
curious Spirit ! I know not why Man was made, save but as 
another step in the progression ; but hereafter a yet more 
glorious being shall be created until sin shall cease through 
him and Jehovah behold there the Triumph of Holiness in- 
carnate, the power of Good that shall conquer all. But it is 
not yet, for the lust of Evil is too strong in this Last-created, 
and the Consummation is far off. Poor Man ! Poor, poor ex- 
perimental creature! For it was known in Heaven that sin 
must be, yet woe to the sinner !" 

"Alas, poor sinner!" 

"Yet can the pure in spirit live, for he hath fulfilled his part 
well and aided a tittle in the forwarding : Yet also is a circle 
not complete until the ends meet. These are hard things to 
understand." 

"But where is the justice of God that such can be?" 

"The justice of God is too instantaneously comprehensive to 
be at all thought of by Man, who, indeed, cannot be just 
because his nature is bent to a strong line of action. I will 
show thee things among thine own people concerning this." 

Now there was a governor named Sapalel, which one was 
also a judge over the people, and to him was offered certain 
desirable things to tempt him to do that which was unjust. 
The which he would have refused save but for the sake of his 
wife and children, (he not being a rich man). But in the sight 
of Man there was nought to mitigate so great a crime, they 
saying he sold his conscience : which perchance he did. Yet 
who could judge him but God, who weighs the littlest thought? 

And I showed her in spirit where Myra wept for the love 
of Alam, the governor of Talascan, who once loved her with 
so great a love, yet she not knowing aught of such feeling 

285 



ATLANTIS. 

until he went to join Toltiah before Zul. And now he had 
grown cold towards her by force of training to despite her. 
Because this human heart could never, by force of reason, 
punish justly, being hardened in the punishing and never re- 
lapsing from that added harshness that permitted such punish- 
ment, in the span of short life. So that, although when this 
one loved him, after long indifiference, she received from his 
hardened hands the punishment she gave in the period of that 
indifiference, yet he never at all returned that love ; which caused 
that punishment to be very great because of remorse on her 
part, and too late perception of what might have been. 



286 



CAP. XIX. 



THE HEART OF THE WORLD. 



Verily was Toltiah a curse unto me by reason of his evil, 
and his restraint over Azta ! For she, loving him, but yearned 
to see him rule, yet would not influence him to her own 
detriment. Towards me, his father, he manifested a great 
impatience, gazing upon me with a sinister expression that spoke 
of repulsion, questioning and fear, at such times that we were 
together; as a very Spirit of evil that upbraided and scorned, 
the while challenging and forbidding. And towards him my 
mind ever appeared as though separated by a great gulf that 
no thought nor speech could bridge over, neither was I able 
to attempt to lead him from the evil which I was ever com- 
pelled to helplessly witness. And at times this strange being, 
as an angel taking his pleasures equally with man or woman, 
born in the carnal manifestation of an hermaphrodite and dis- 
charging the functions of both earthly sexes, I say this strange 
being affrighted me. And gleefully aiding him in frowardness, 
the great lords committed all manner of wantonness, while to 
secure them to her support Azta permitted their allegiances, so 
that there were many jealous quarrels. The Court became one 
wild whirl of devilry and the whole city followed suit, an ex- 
ample that farther corrupted all the land ; so that all day the 
people slept, and all night they danced in fevered vice, abandon- 
ing the temple services save when a hecatomb of victims brought 
the crowds to witness it. They believed large offerings were 
as acceptable to the gods as their presences, and indeed it 
mattered nought if they worshipped such or refrained. 

The more degraded had scarcely the energy to eat or drink, 
and lay about in the streets in obscenity and drunkenness, 
worried by dogs and vultures and robbed by the legionaries, 

287 



ATLANTIS. 

who left their posts and women at the battlements to promen- 
ade the city for drunken people. Any resistance was followed 
by murder, and corpses lay in many of the streets until eaten 
by the brutes. Alas, that I could not tear myself from thee, 
O Azta, and fly afar in hiding and repentance ! For nought 
could save this people from the sink of iniquity into which 
they had fallen but the most rigorous measures ; and if I could 
not bring thee under my entire sway, what would befall? Eheu 1 
that I should have imposed so weighty and profitless a task 
upon myself, and taken a pillar of clay to work the redemp- 
tion of Man ! I, which was of Heaven. 

Yet ah 1 the fevered grandeur of that strange time of Earth, 
when Man at the zenith of his youth, with the great, vague, 
untried ideas of youngness, strove mightily to compass works of 
wonder and awe, excited by competition and success. Com- 
panion of devils, with the fearful experiences of long perverted 
life, how wast thou suffered at all before Heaven? O vision 
of shadowy cyclopean halls rising in their painted arrogance, 
from pavements of crushed and dead flowers, echoing the crash- 
ing minstrelsy that roared in blasphemy to the skies I O 
splendid mortals whose dishonoured clay was all too beauteous 
and worthy for such dreadful spirits, congregating in such 
bravery of magnificence round thy fatal Chief, with attendant 
trains and armed guards gorgeously apparelled 1 O splendour 
of combination of subtle imagery and vast effect, where strain- 
ing thoughts of ages sought to burst from all restraint and, 
disappointed, rolled in monstrous sins ! 

Yet could I not go from my Love. Her eyes commanded 
my soul, every action but drew me closer to her : her form 
entranced me with the subtle beauty of its swelling curves and 
the poetry of its every move, and the perception of her soft- 
ness and lovliness enwrapped me in a charming fire from which 
there was no escape. By her side I felt the sensation of a 
vast emptiness that might be filled with marvels could I but 
remove the awful incubus that held us back, which I know 
was Sin. 

I took her afar to where mountains rose in grandeur to the 
skies, and bade her consider the work of the Creator in the 

288 



THE HEART OF THE WORLD, 

yet untainted wilderness, where the golden sunlight bathed the 
Earth in warm beauty, and butterflies flitted about, large with 
their flashing wings. A wild dove flew into a vine overhead, 
beneath which lay an ocelot, delicately licking its velvet paws 
and washing its round face. 

" It is beautiful, my lord," she said, with a sigh ; but I re- 
proved her. 

" Call me not thy lord, Beloved ; he is but thy lord who can 
command thy heart. It is not I." 

She looked quickly upon me. I laid my hand very gently 
upon her head, and she caught it and clung to it. 

"O pity me that I love another," she wept, "for of a truth 
I love thee well, also. Thou knowest I love theel" 

" Love that will not give up all is not love ; and, alas ! that 
I love thee, for because that thou hast been preferred before 
Heaven am I accursed ; and I, who love with the passion of 
souls, cannot be satisfied, and burn in the fire that I have 
lighted." 

For a space she was silent, then she said very softly : " What 
is love?" 

"Thou askest 'What is love?'" I said; "love is an instinct, 
which is to say a sensation of the spirit, my Beloved, not only 
an enthusiasm of the mind born of contiguity. Love dreams 
ever of its object, nor absence can dull it; because the spirit 
is there. It is the mystery of amalgamation, the union that 
begets life, and everything must love, for without it comes lust 
and disorder. Hadst thou loved as I, perchance would it have 
been well, but thou, not loving, shouldst not have suffered me ; 
for also I have sinned in this thing, my Azta, and punishment 
is upon us. Yet canst thou save thyself and me perchance, 
and to this end I am minded to show thee what manner of 
love thou bearest for another." 

Her eyes blazed and her face lighted up — with what emotions 
I knew not. " Show me more of thy great wisdom," she cried, 
" and fill me with power that I may rule the land in wisdom 
and raise it from its sin." 

"Sweet Spirit," I cried with joy, "I would take thee to 
where from the centre of the Thought of God spring in un- 

289 19 



ATI.ANTIS. 

ending legions the sons of Life, running in ceaseless evolutions, 
form within form, circle within circle, until the wheels of cre- 
ation whirl in stupendous wonder, perfect in infinite detail, 
marvellous in awful immensity ; in perfect order tending to their 
great sire, simplicity of simplicity, complication of undreamed-of 
complication, springing still from an atom until their innumer- 
able legions people empyrean depths beyond thought to con- 
ceive in magnificence of splendid immensity formed of perfec- 
tion of detail. I would take thee to where burning worlds 
revolve in seas of molten gold, as much greater to thine Earth 
as itself is to the tiniest grain of sand upon it; to where Suns 
roll in splendours of heavenly light unseen but of God and of 
the Archangels, and where, in awful space, the thoughts lose 
themselves and the spirit faints in terror. I would take thee 
from North to South and East to West, farther than thy dreams 
could whisper to thee, and show thee therein things that have 
never been thought of by man, nor ever could be." 

Thus spoke 1, vaunting; yet in my heart I feared to look 
upon these and dared not participate in their love, for vanished 
was the intensity of vision and the power of wing, and methinks 
did I but encounter the glance of the Almighty I should fall, 
blinded and helpless, being evil. 

"O mighty!" cried Azta, "my soul yearns to know what 
thou knowest and to see these wonders." 

" O curious and desperate ! and O wonder that thou wouldst 
make such demand of a lover to do that which would cause 
direst misgivings should an offspring attempt! Verily, Love is 
the child of admiration!" 

"Wilt thou say me nay, my Lover" she asked, with such 
pretty pleading as held me her slave. 

"Come; thou shalt again see the Earth and know its mys- 
teries which have never yet been known of Man, yet of the 
love I bear thee it shall be revealed." 

Now there was a vast gorge of black dread and unknown 
depth which divided two mountains, and in which the winds 
ever heaved as a stormy sea of air, with a great draught and 
turbulence. Which same we traversed, and the Spirit of my 
Love reeled in the embrace of a wild fervour of horror and 

290 



THE hf:art of the world. 

delight, a dream of another Hfe, a fearful wish to look on for- 
bidden things though worlds should fall before the sin of it. 

The shade of Eve stood with hand outstretched against her 
in warning, and bright things flashed across the path in bewild- 
ering convolutions, mysterious and terrifying. An exalted fear 
possessed her, an impious arrogance that rejoiced in its own 
evil and raised her to the level of an Angel, exulting and 
defiant. 

Light and darkness and twilight covered the path, fearful 
sensations of changing shadows. There was a cavernous place, 
black and terrible, where the winds swept in roaring gusts that 
now drew and now repelled, moaning and shrieking and eddying. 
Nebulous wan bodies appeared and passed like phantasms of 
a dream, dark streams as of lightning traversed the black amor- 
phous place; and then came flashes of light, reflected glimmers 
that tremulated awfully, while a draught of increasing potency 
drew all towards it. The fitful lights grew stronger and more 
vivid, and leaping from their striking-points seemed to ride down 
the gusts of furious wind that sped like armies of shrieking 
larvae from all directions, breaking in multicoloured blazes of 
glory where the shattering echoes met. 

Now there was a splendour of glowing light, and life leaped 
with an almost overpowering intensity. Azta breathed not, yet 
air pervaded her as though she were air itself. There opened 
out a cavy chamber of colossal wonder and mystery, filled with 
an intense glow that seemed to breathe and Hve. Blood-red 
rivers flowed, bearing living things in their rushing currents, 
vomiting subtle flames, and among which the winds mingled: 
falling, returning, circling with a giddy rush and casting a re- 
fulgent glow. A sound as of crashing wheels rolled in the 
wake of fiery serpents, as though Seraphim rode in chariots of 
thunder through the grandeur of the liquid furnace that lifted 
its waves of horror in mountainous storms. Pulsating with awful 
regularity, the circles of Life revolved and mingled with the 
sound of a mighty tempest, dazzling and ineffably sublime in 
majesty. 

In the midst of the Wonder stood a Being, terrible beyond 
all that Azta had seen, winged with falling cascades of quiver- 

291 



ATLxVNTIS. 

ing and expanding fire. Like to the bright Vision she had 
seen on the palace roof that had flashed from Heaven on the 
swift lightning, this had the same animated features and super- 
abundant life, and the glowing eyes burned with a wonder of 
perception that was terrible to encounter. The nostrils, expand- 
ed, exhaled pure flame, and around the whole figure was a light 
of most subtle and most wondrous splendour. Never still for 
an instant, the form undulated and swayed, clothed in that 
transcendent light that enwrapped it as with a mantle, and about 
its feet the swift lightnings flashed incessantly as the rosy waves 
encircled it. 

"Is it well, Asia?" thundered a voice. I answered not. 
Azta gazed, terrified and exalted, yet feeling tiny beyond all 
description and frightened at her own temerity, scarce daring 
to lift her eyes. Hosts of flies assailed her, passing on in 
swarms to the glory of light and perishing in the fiery Wonder 
in a breath. She slapped at them, but if she hit one it vanish- 
ed, and a new terror paralyzed her spirit, a horror of mystery. ^ 

"Whence come these swarming Spirits?" enquired the awful 
voice, so stern and terrible that in my soul I trembled, and in 
fright v\zta shuddered as the buzzing legions passed, A mighty 
gust of wind appeared to seize her and sweep her towards the 
glory, a nearly irresistible draught of living air, enveloping her 
with a potential embrace. Voices roared and shrieked, and 
terrible shapes rolled from the brightness and vanished around 
her in giddy evolutions, as she struggled, incapable of speech. 
Again came the fearful draught ot air, a mighty inrush that 
absorbed her in itself, and in an agony of terror she fought 
against it, the bright terrible waves rolling in their endless 
pulsations at her very feet. In the intensity of her horror she 
shrieked, echo on echo mocking her from whirlpool and wave 
and whirling grandeur, and seized as by a strong arm she was 
drawn backwards and away from the rolling thunder-wheels 
of Life. 

The glorious light waved and vanished and before her stretch- 
ed a black immensity. Beneath yawned unknown depths peo- 
pled by horrible forms that were swayed like clouds by the 
roaring winds, torn, shattered, swirHng and eddying; a vast 

292 



MULTICOLOURED BLAZES OF GLORY WHERE THE SHATTERING ECHOES MET. 



ATLANTIS. 

and sudden change from the grandeur of light to a fearful 
world of gray shadows rolling in sickening coils as serpents 
of huge size, or displayed as appearing and vanishing larvae. 
Nameless Things of horror gazed upon us, and there were 
dreadful sounds as of one who would speak yet is not able 
to ; and ever the wild winds moaned and swept past in their 
rushing courses. 

There appeared a little baby, soft and beautiful, that gazed 
with its fearless eyes upon the Horror, and Azta would fain 
have gathered it to her bosom ; but a loathly form enveloped 
it and it was no more; but in its place was a great skull, and in 
and out of the hollow eyes crawled a worm of fire with a 
devil's head. From all the great spaces, borne on the winds, 
came the sound of a weird laugh, that echoed and reechoed in 
a myriad mocking cries from where the seas of air dashed 
in resounding billows upon unknown boundaries. Lighter grew 
the waves of shadow, as, rising in adamantine splendour from 
darkness to darkness, appeared columns and vaulted roofs stretch- ' 
ing in gloomy awe beyond perception. Azta cried out as she 
perceived these to be formed of the bones and skulls of men, 
cemented with blood, in vast number, building a palace of 
heroic size. In the midst rose a throne of dark adamant and upon 
it rested a cloud, and I may not tell the horror of perception 
that swept over us twain as, unaware, we stood within the 
C()lumn(,'d hall of darkness athrob with a dire, intangible life 
emanating from every atom. 

Upon my thigh hung a sword, yet it was as weighty lead, 
and my thoughts and wishes were as the gauzy meshes of an 
hearth-Spirit's wing soaked and weighted with mire in the presence 
of that Evil that was yet pure, and not beastly as of Earth. 
Hut indignation raised me, and scorn that I might perchance 
have sunk unknowingly to such depths where Lust dared not 
face Evil, and turning, I took my Love and we went forth through 
passage, hall and columned terrace overlooking places of fire. 

"Now behold," I said, "my dear Love, after what fashion 
thou lovest, for here will I show thee one who will enlighten thee." 

And a small cloud .nrose from the place of fire, floating slowly 
upward and growing darker, shaped like an egg. Azta watched 

294 



THE HEART OF THE WORLD. 

with parted lips and white face, her glorious beauty more etherial 
than aught of wholly mortal could be, as the vapoury wonder 
rose and grew large in the lurid atmosphere. It burst and there 
stood revealed a beautiful woman of majesty nigh unto herself, 
and very wondrous as she stood in quivering light before us. 
It was that Atlace, bride of Tekthah, who, in evil compliance 
to Leira, had cheated her lord and wrought confusion. Of a 
truth, beautiful she was, a very Queen of Hell ; and small wonder 
that Angels should stoop to crave the regards of such! 

" Behold the mother of Huitza ! " I cried, " and thy mother 1 " 

"My mother!" 

"The same!" 

Azta reeled for a moment and placed her hands to her heart. 
Then she laughed, a little mocking laugh with a note of triumph 
and challenge in it, and in despair and rage I cast the flashing 
lightning upon the Shade and by a whirlwind conveyed my 
abandoned Love from the place. 



■ i: 



295 



CAP. XX. 



THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS. 



Woman, how unfitted art thou for government! Either too 
severe or too melting tender, never consistent or inflexible, ever 
biassed or impulsive. And thou, Azta, for whom I gave up 
all, thou woman of women, hast dragged down the Heavens in 
judgment upon thee and upon me. Wonder of Love, that 
can work such evil ! And for my love to thee and thine to 
another hath it come that Sin is enthroned greater than all the 
times before; and woe is me! 

What madness caused the both of us to love one who regarded 
us not in full measure, nor striving after an impossible goal 
could see the dire results of force? Can one kindle flame from 
iron, or will it do aught but glow with heat in the furnace 
itself? Would one strive to cause the leaping flames to burst in 
splendour from such until it were consumed ? Nathless we strive 
to breed a love where no love is, and groan in pain and astonish- 
ment that we never succeed ; and, mystery of God ! I who knew 
this yet strove ! 

And Azta now, unrestrained by awe or reverence, took on 
a great arrogance and dismayed all by her supernatural bearing 
and the wonder of her surroundings. To me she manifested a 
wild, clinging passion, appearing as though she would kill the 
old love by her violent will ; and I, disappointed and dismayed, 
yet loving her for her protestations of love to me, waited in 
uneasy horror and indolent dalliance, compelled to remain as 
a ship that has lost it rudder and all guidance, lying helpless 
and water-logged. All day long in those wicked halls, and 
indeed, most of the night, arose the sounds of music and revelling, 
where fair wantons danced to the sound of drum and whistle 
for the amusement of their licentious masters, whom they were 

296 



THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS. 

interested in serving for hope of advancements. The queen levie 
had been taken from among such by reason of her beauty; 
and as dancing-girls were always greatly sought after, many pretty 
children were stolen to be early instructed, and girls of more 
mature age also. 

It became a part of every-day life and none gave any 
thought to such acts ; and Azta, like a being of two worlds, 
lived in an exalted atmosphere and was ministered to by many 
dreadful rites that pertained not to Earth. She greatly favoured 
the magicians, showing them out of arrogance many new 
things; so that a very daring knowledge sprang up among the 
people, who were overwhelmed by the glory and wonder of the 
Capital. 

She caused the pyramid which was the tomb of Atlace to 
be wondrously converted into a temple, maintaining a retinue 
of priestesses and surpassing Zul in mystery and grandeur, being 
surrounded by a colonnade at the corners of which four tall 
pylons sent the smoke of their fires to Heaven, while a four- 
sided symbol of the love of Night and Neptsis crowned the 
pyramid itself. And ever went on the reeking sins of Zul 
where dark Amaziel offered human victims to the elements in 
dread insolence, where human hearts smoked on the abominable 
altars and the anguished groans of victims rose to the observant 
Heaven in the column of undying flame. And less guilty was 
the idolatrous worship of the lower peoples than the worship 
of untold things in the red palace, where Heaven-born Toltiah 
lay in wantonness and infamous adultery and corrupted still 
more the nobles and wealthy citizens, from whose luxurious 
mansions arose the wail of many an abducted maiden or the 
swiftly-silenced shriek of a mistress whose wantonness was suddenly 
cut short by a sudden death. 

All in vain were the exhortations and rebukes of Noah, who 
perceived his charge, from whom he had hoped so much, leading 
the nation still farther astray. Also was his heart fearful for 
his own sons, who lived in their palaces and attended at court, 
lest they might fall before the many temptations by which they 
were surrounded. Angry and dismayed, he spake boldly, threaten- 
ing the judgment of Heaven upon the palace and upon the 

297 



ATLANTIS. 

accursed pile whose fire blazed to the glorification of Sin and 
whose priests encouraged the people in their evil. The brazen 
challenge of this den of corruption would reach the Throne of 
God — from the midnight Market-place, where nude debauchees 
whirled in drunken dances round the bonfire-illuminated idols 
that shamed them by at least their silence — from the Circus, where 
holocausts and obscene plays held weary audiences enwrapped 
for awhile and lent fresh ideas — from the temples, where awful 
mysteries were unfolded to the lewd minds of blasphemous 
schemers who dared to mingle them with rites of Earth — from 
the battlements, where innocent blood removed traces of a night's 
revels and would-be avengers dared utter no complaint — from 
the Imperial palace, where kidnapped girls were forced to minister 
to the lusts of a ruler whose sin was increased by the splendour 
of his birth, and whose dire example, untempered by any 
interference, dragged the fallen to deeper depths — from the whole 
land. where Sin bowed its scarlet head in undreamed-of oceans 
of drunkenness and scarce had strength to wish for more. 

Scarce with his life had the patriarch escaped his temerity 
save but for the helplessness of his audience ; but he was laughed 
to scorn, and Toltiah, in merry mood, laughed loudest of all, 
shouting that the old man was becoming a child, and hurling 
all manner of insults upon him. And I feared for the gray- 
beard, for I knew Nezca was scheming against him, and only 
for that he was loved of Heaven had he escaped thus far. 

For myself, my revelation of Atlace to Azta, which had not 
checked her love, but made of it a sin by knowledge, recoiled 
ui)on myself; for half she believed myself to be her father; as, 
loving her, I should also have loved Atlace for such great 
resemblance. And, 1 luitza being my son, I should seek to perpet- 
uate him in such manner, which was confusion and abomination 
and brought such punishment. 

Thus she verily believed Toltiah to be Huitza, and in apathetic 
misery I had to endure the judgment of Heaven upon my choice 
and weakness, which caused as much awful sin. For Azta, 
unabashed, looked upon him as a lover and at times wished 
to rid him of his brutal indifference and roughness, grieving 
that he loved her not nor was in a trifle tender ; and, wielding 

298 



THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS. 

the supreme power, and that power being as wrongfully applied, 
could wonder be that the land sank into a horror of sin ! None 
dared cross her path, for her guards were ever with her, the 
tall women-warriors who could fight on equal terms with men. 
For now it was with respect that the people watched them as 
they stalked proudly through the city with their great axes 
beneath the wolf-skin shields, splendid Marisa not deigning to 
notice the populace, despising their manners and softness of 
living. 

With unavaiHng passion Toltiah pressed his suit to her, yet 
now to Azta's jealousy. The Amazon, beyond her personal 
attractions, however, gave her no cause for complaint, but 
became restless; for, as most of her warriors, tiring of a life 
that had no attractions, she wished to depart. Soon they would 
set forth, when certain schemes for passing without hindrance 
should be ready, and the city could revel and dance as it 
pleased and sigh to its mistresses in cushioned halls and on 
the floating gardens swinging at anchor upon their huge rafts, 
by which also lay the useless warships, turned into floating 
palaces. 

Yet to the people those days of pleasant, unchecked evil were 
not without cares, for rumours of frontier raids and massacres 
reached as far as the capital, and a startling appearance of a 
new and terrible people aroused the languid interest for a while. 
These raiders were described as a combination of horse and 
man, fearful to look upon, swift and reckless, and, it seemed to 
the people, a living prototype of the stone and wooden mockeries 
that their debased minds had created. But so far from dealing 
leniently with those who might be supposed to worship them, 
these equine beings carried deadly warfare into their midst, 
murdering men and children and taking away the women with 
the same desires as any of themselves, and it was this touch 
of human nature that alleviated the first superstitious fear that 
the report of their appearance caused. The only places that 
they respected were the cities, for they feared the high walls, 
and fortified places were believed to be safe from their attacks ; 
yet the people were terrified by them, not comprehending them 
nor agreeing as to their appearance, but it was said that they 

299 



ATLANTIS. 

were dreadful to look upon as they sped like a storm across 
the plains, enveloped in rolling smoke that hung on their demon 
squadrons in clouds. From the dark womb of Mount Axatlan 
they came to carry desolation over the land, while in sympathy 
with this myriad-membered birth the great cone became more 
violent, and the reports of the dull fury of the fires rolling in 
a dark red column of dread in the night aroused uneasiness. 
All over the land the debauched people would be terrified into 
sobriety by a movement of the earth, that heaved with a sickening 
movement as though a monster wave ran beneath it. These 
movements increased, and one night in Zul the idols were shaken 
down and the people cried out with terror; yet there were 
never wanting many who feared neither god nor man, to jest 
at the fallen state of the carven abortions, and, plucking them 
by the limbs, raise them in their great arms in mockery to 
the sky; so that the people, perceiving no sudden death to 
fall upon these sacrilegious ones, gathered heart and continued 
as wickedly as before. And there were some among the 
merchants who bred degraded people for the sacrifices, herding 
them with the lower animals ; others who reared large-bodied 
slaves for the Circus, and hybrid creatures of great size and 
strength. 

To attract the nobles Azta held many brilliant gatherings in 
the Hall of the Throne, compeUing homage to be rendered to 
herself and Toltiah from the wish of perceiving a vast concourse 
to bow the knee ; and her proud bosom heaved with joy as 
mighty chieftains and princes and superb ladies swept in between 
the huge lions and bent low in reverence upon the golden step 
of the first terrace. Between the dark columns and braziers the 
minstrelsy crashed, as right and left the crowds spread from 
the throne, blazing in armour of jewels and flashing weapons, 
their brilliant galaxies crowned by tiaras and helmets, nodding 
plumes of ostrich and flamingo, and the gorgeous feathers of 
the peacock. Which last, although aforetimes counted of ill- 
omen, was now greatly prized in daring challenge to evil powers, 
notwithstanding its significance. 

Toltiah, giving full sway to every lust, and full of arrogance, 
caused blue stones to be set in his teeth and wore huge gems 

300 



THE THRONE OF ATLANTIS. 

and gold dust in his hair, sitting like a dark king of the lower 
world above the awed crowds, upon which he gazed with a 
dreadful sarcasm, jealous at any preference being granted to 
Azta. Furious at any restraint, vain and debased, he always 
held the orbed sceptre ; but Azta was the one who commanded 
real obeisance. From her yellow flamy hair a halo of light 
appeared to scintillate, pale and mysterious, while ever in her 
stormy eyes the sombre lightnings lay, as her gaze wandered 
indolently over the splendid throngs, awed to a certain extent, 
yet encouraged by their mighty rulers. But towards Toltiah 
there spread a feeling of disgust save when his splendid presence 
compelled respect and admiration ; for his godlike stature was 
in truth beautiful with its vast proportions as softly rounded as 
a woman's. Yet not alone was he a thing of awe, for there were 
also many among the nobles of Celestial descent, which ones did 
not scruple to commit the most terrible excesses and were the 
most fertile in magic, teaching arts to their mistresses and showing 
the meaning of the watery larvae which came from the Sun and 
Moon — misty embryos of fertilizing potency which dwelt in mois- 
ture. Also conjointures of animals and plants, whereby galls were 
formed ; of the pregnancy of clouds and the mystery of Amal- 
gamation; of the power of Heavenly bodies upon rocky parts 
of Earth from which were born precious metals and gemmy 
bodies and foetal Things that sprang forth from the womb of 
Earth in the dark upward flashes of lightning. And the Demons 
which dwelt among them for the satisfaction of their earthly 
lusts excitated perfumes which encouraged madness in their 
mistresses and the propagation of strange memories and clear 
vision, using also to the same end very subtle chords of mystic 
music ; so that there was no end to their wickedness or to the 
increasing sin of Man, whom the most extraordinary ideas 
possessed, (having all he could wish for). 

The people esteemed • themselves gods, believing themselves 
to be invincible, and greatly encouraged by their rulers. This 
Huitza had returned from the regions of Death, and Amaziel 
preached that none could die but for a space, while he brought 
forth Mah in the person of a slave-dealer whose mistresses 
spread knowledge of confusion far and wide. A wild idea 

301 



ATLANTIS. 

occurred to many that they should turn and reenter that land 
of T^den x whence their race had been expelled; the couch of 
the bright Sun, from which he arose each day to smile upon 
them, and to which he would surely welcome Azta, his beloved. 

X According to n plausible theory jnU forward by a distinguished Egyptologist 
some years ago, the territory of Eden, of which the '• garden " formed but a por- 
tion, is identified with the great watershed of Central Africa; where the immense plateau 
of a most remarkaljle river system, quadruple in form by the Zambesi, Niger, Bahr-el- 
(Ihazal. and Congo, has its parallel in no other portion of the globe. Three of 
the greatest naturalists of our time, Darwin. Wallace and Broca. have all suggested 
Africa as the prol)able birthplace of the human race. It is indeed a wonderful 
lanil : there was ilie great empire of Egypt, there the longest river of the world, 
tliere the largest examples of life. The elephant, the giraffe, rhinoceros, gorilla, 
chim|>anzee. lion, leopard, camel, buffalo, ostrich, antelope, all are the largest of 
their species: and there are also the ordinary examples in the zebra and all kinds 
of birds, as well as some to be found nowhere else, as the gnu. 



CAP. XXI. 



THE DEAFNESS OF THE NATION. 



Still afar Axatlan belched flames and equine devils, and 
rivers of boiling pitch and flying hordes of supernatural raiders 
terrified the people; yet heedless of the woes of their coun- 
trymen, those of Zul ate, drank and blasphemed, licentious and 
unbridled in their madness, toasting their mistresses on the 
altars of the temples and worshipping images of them with 
obscene rites. 

The sons of Noah looked with a mixture of feelings on the 
conduct of Toltiah, who had ever been as a younger brother 
to them, instructed by them in everything from the time he 
was a small child; and now they had to bow before him and 
suffer condescension and hard words and sneers, which became 
unendurable. Shem was the most moderate in his ideas, but 
Ham beat upon his deep chest with his fists and murmured 
rebelliously, and Japheth dreamed in like wise. 

The people hated these in their hearts, yet, because of their 
power, bowed before their nodding plumes as they stalked 
through them in their unimpaired manhood. Tall and goodly 
men were they, with bold bright eyes that never dropped for 
shame of aught they had committed, the only sober ones in a 
foul nest of revelry upon which they looked with disfavour, 
never having soiled their souls with its awful wickedness. 

Now Ham had designed a great bath to be built in the 
city, upon the hill near by the palace, which would be filled 
from the reservoirs of water near the temple of Zul that sup- 
plied the smaller reservoirs on the terraces; and for this work 
numbers of slaves were employed, huge blocks of stones being 
piled up for the building. And the deep excavations revealed 
a mass of curious skulls and bones, that Ham delivered up to 

303 



ATLANTIS. 

Shcni, which one, studious and thoughtful, bent long over with 
Noali, scrutinising and hazarding guesses as to their origin. 
No such remains could belong to any peoples they knew of, 
and the mode of sepulture was executed in deep and careful 
style ; while, most interesting of all, were curiously graven 
stones laid there. 

For long they observed them, asking themselves were they 
Divine histories of the past ages or individual biographies. 
Not yet could they understand the stories, believing them to 
be of the first man of their race, or even of the progress of 
Celestial beings, the birth of Heaven and of the worlds, the 
first inspiration of the creation of the Earth. 

Susi, lost in dreams, clasped her hands in visionary contem- 
plation. To her pure mind arose the figures of angels working 
with care the pictured records of a young world that her 
imagination presented to her as very bright and fair. She of 
all her family loved best the contemplation of that God to whom 
the sire directed their minds, and it was with the most disinter- 
ested sorrow that she perceived her Imperial foster-brother's 
manner of ruling the people over whom he was set as king, 
and was secretly terrified by his increasing regards for herself. 
For, satisfied, and desirous of something new, the unnatural 
libertine oft looked lustfully upon her, enraged that she should 
scorn his embraces. Nor would he have hesitated to gratify 
his passion but for the fear of the patriarch, whom also to an 
extent the people revered. 

Yet perhaps more than for this one Susi grieved for Azta, 
the Queen-mother, the wonderful woman who could influence 
for so much good and who appeared to her to be so de- 
sperately wicked ; and as she sat and looked upon the palmy 
gardens, drinking with her eyes the sun-lights in the atmos- 
phere, a shy thought arose in her mind of making an appeal 
to her and striving to influence her towards reformation before 
the vengeance of Heaven should sweep the nation from the 
Earth and only their records should be found, telling, like those 
early gravings perchance, of creation, rebellion and its punish- 
ment — death. 

The project of returning to Eden began to take root in the 

304 



THE DEAt-NESS OF THE NATION. 

minds of all, terrified by the burning mountain and of other 
hills that arose and vomited flames. Toltiah gave much thought 
to it, his temper becoming morose and savage as gleamings 
of something terrible about to happen made him plunge yet 
more desperately into evil instead of curbing him ; for with in- 
tuitions hereditary he dimly perceived the intoxicating inward- 
ness of things. Urged on by pride and fear he listened to mad 
schemes propounded by Nezca, and oft consulted Amaziel ; 
having his ideas greatly strengthened thereby, as also by the 
magician Gorgia. 

The schemes grew, as imaginations, more and more inflamed 
by the wildest stories and conjectures, pictured its fulfilment. 
Toltiah, flushed with wine and excesses, dreamed with visions 
of a greater grandeur and vaster enjoyment than Atlantis could 
give, newer and more glorious ; and inflamed by Gorgia he 
perceived the Tree of Life whose fruit is Immortality. 

Reclining in all the bravery of gold and gems, dreadful by 
reason of his appearance and the blue stones in his teeth, at 
the evening meal, in the midst of his favorites and voluptuous 
queens with their heavy hips and great eyes like antelopes', he 
bethought him of Noah and of the wisdom that he had, and 
sent him an urgent message to appear before him. And when 
the patriarch came, grand in his rugged godliness, (yet not 
being great of stature), the young man insolently demanded of 
him as to what he knew of such country, and concerning how 
they might obtain possession of it, being terrified by the earth- 
quakes and rumours of the wrath of the volcanoes. 

And looking around upon the wanton assembly and the 
obscene imageries upon the walls, the patriarch was vexed. 

" I know not of such place," he said, " neither would it become 
Man to strive to force that which God hath closed against him," 

Toltiah laughed scornfully, handing his pipe to the bearer, 
that he might the better converse. " Old father," quoth he, 
"thy gray hairs cover a cautious brain. Do not the wise ones 
tell of a Tree of Life, which, being possessed of, how can aught 
hurt us? There is our birthright, old one, and who more fit 
to lead the warriors of Atlantis than 1 1 What when I reign 
thence — thou shalt see!" 

305 20 



ATLANTIS. 

A great shouting answered him, and loud laughter. And 
the spirit of a great wrath shook the patriarch, so that he raised 
his voice boldly. 

"O inexperienced!" he cried, " darest thou disregard the 
doom of banishment which was pronounced by God for the 
disobedience of His Word? A greater vengeance shall befall 
for a worse continuation of the same sin ; and perchance wouldst 
thou find that Eden to be of Heaven and not of the Earth, 
and the revolving sword of fire to be the Gate of Memory 
through which none may enter, being banished. Enough there 
is for thee to perform as leader of the God-created race, to 
direct them back into the path from which they have wickedly 
strayed. And look thou well into thyself. Ruler of Atlantis, 
for thou hast sinned in that, having the chief power, thou hast 
raised the rebellious head to Heaven and would presume to 
strive with the Almighty, which is the Creator of all. Worst 
of all hast thou sinned, seeing that not only hast thou com- 
mitted evil in thyself, but hast caused a nation to err; and as 
fungus spreads upon a tree so has deadly sin spread upon the 
land and soon will there be nought but weeping and death 1" 

The words caused a great commotion among all, yet before 
a hand could be raised against him the patriarch turned with a 
commanding gesture to the company. 

"Ye lords and ladies," he cried in a thrilling voice, "now 
shall your blindness recoil in confusion upon your heads because 
of your readiness to follow Evil under a disguise. For behold, 
this one, your ruler, is not Huitza, but a monster, which is 
neither a man nor a woman, whom therefore ye ignorantly 
declare a god, yet born of woman even as all of you are born, who 
hath conspired to lead you astray, too willing to follow. For 
Huitza is dead and shall so remain, and this Toltiah is born 
of Azta, in manner common to all mankind, and wickedly imposes 
upon your too compliant minds. To me he came, helpless and 
a fugitive, upon the day when Tekthah died, and had I known 
what devil's spawn lay beneath my hand, that day had he 
died also! " 

A gasp of astonishment passed round the crowd, lying as 
petrified. The fan-bearers moved backward the heavy windy 

306 



The deafness of the natIoN. 

fans as Toltiah, rousing as a tiger, cried to the guards to seize 
the daring man ; aad then had it fared ill for the patriarch but 
that by his side suddenly appeared a shining figure of dreadful 
majesty, having within his hand a drawn sword of fire. And 
the Name by which he appeared was Arsayalalyur, Angel of 
the Wrath of God. A sudden great gloom fell over all, and 
when it had passed Noah had gone, and likewise his sons with 
him ; neither could they be found by the swift ones sent after 
them, nor was any vestige of them to be found. 

And a wonderment sat upon the hearts of the people because 
of this and of his words, yet so abandoned were they and so 
shameless that it passed and nought remained of it in remembrance. 

And Azta lay by me in her arbour, dreaming wild dreams 
and smiling with satisfied desire as I caressed her in my arms. 

" Thou dost not look so like Heaven as when we first met, 
my Asia," she said, with a little sorrow in her voice ; and with 
a sad reproach I kissed her lips, yet feeling in my heart that 
I sinned, she loving another. And such another! 

"Methinks thy love is waning," she murmured, her hot breath 
intoxicating my senses, subdued by the restful sighing of the 
waves and the tinkle of the nightingale-wooed fountains. 

"Ah, say not sol" I cried in passion, "never did I love thee 
more, my dearest Love!" For very dear to all hearts is that 
which causes pain and sorrow in the sweet nurture, and greater joy 
is there in Heaven over a sinner forgiven than over the just, 
for he hath caused much sorrow. 

" Beloved, I doubt thee not," she whispered, seeing my passion ; 
" beautiful that thou art, how could I ? Yet is a woman's heart 
ever anxious, my Asia, and love is as water to a flower." 

Sighing softly, she lay in my arms, looking forth over the 
sea that lay calm and motionless as a lake of silver under the 
full moon. So bright it was that every ripple could be seen, 
and afar it stretched to where the dark veily sky met the line 
of the horizon, clear and lovely. Full of the soft beauty of the 
scene we gazed, full of the mystery of the quietness that seemed 
to hang above the Earth, pregnant with a great significance. 
A voice was in the silence, and an accumulating soft thrill of 
electricity ; and slowly, far out at sea, a vast body rose where 

307 



ATLANTIS. 

a monster of the great deeps protruded his length above the 
wave and rolled over, the water swirling and sucking down 
the immense thing as it wallowed, and spreading over the calm 
expanse in glittering wavelets and hoops of light. Over on the 
horizon a rolling sound was audible, echoing from north to 
south, and the placid water tremulated as though the earth 
beneath it had shivered. It was an awful phenomenon ; the deep 
rumbling, faint but vast, appearing to shake the sea to its lowest 
depths; and suddenly a long low wave broke on the shore in 
a rush of creamy foam. 

Shouts arose, and the masts of shipping rolled in circles against 
the sky, while a storm of flapping wings told of seabirds dis- 
turbed from their rocks and holders amid the refuse of the harbour. 

Azta nestled closely to me, and I felt her gracious form tremble 
in my embrace. I also trembled, for I perceived in the dark 
Heavens that which she could not see; yet I felt the thrill of 
the fair woman's glorious beauty, more lovely in her abandon- 
ment because so unconscious. Mine was the joy of the splendidly 
rounded limbs, the beauty of the full round breasts that heaved 
so tumultuously upon her swelling bosom, spreading in its white 
glory to the throbbing ivory-tinted neck, as a column rising from 
a garden of lotus-flowers ; and in the midst of that mystic fear 
I was nigh absorbed in delighted contemplation of her plump 
beauty, my eyes feasting themselves on the perfection of the 
luxuriously rounded curves, in all the beauty of defined outline, 
on the tinted pallor of her cheeks surrounded by the flamy 
masses of hair, with the bewitchment of the shaded little soft 
lines and dimples; and the thriUing pressure of her soft moist 
palm appealing to my power filled my soul with ecstasy. I, 
pressed her closely to my bosom in a warm tender embrace 
but a terrible fear lay like a pall over my heart at what I saw 
and knew. Azta hid her head on my breast ; did she, too, perceive ? 

Above waved the flame on Zul, yet it burned lower than 
was its wont, and the other fires flickered all over the city. A 
noise was abroad, an uneasy sound of moving crowds in com- 
motion, above which arose an occasional whoop or shout. 

"What means this?" whispered my Love, fearfully, turning 
her dilating eyes upon me, luminous in the twilight of the night. 

308 



n 



SUDDENLY A LONG, LOW WAVE BROKE ON THE SHORE. 



ATLANTIS. 

"I know not, Beloved," I answered; "yet suffer me to take 
from thine hair the moulded pin, for it is wrongful in the sight 
of Heaven." 

She suffered me meekly. It was but an emblem of what 
she worshipped without being greatly moved, and I cast it afar 
so that it dropped into the sea. 

There were sounds of conflict at the main port of the city, 
but they ceased as the first dawn of day began to appear ; and 
as the fire- tower of Zul flashed into light the drum rolled its 
reverberating echoes like thunder from the skies, reassuring and 
emboldening. Reechoed from the other temples, from Neptsis, 
the Moon, and a score of others, the sounds aroused the whole 
city, awakening such as slept. 

Rut few attended the services, for on all hearts the feeling 
of superstitious dread mocked the futility of hypocritical cere- 
monies. Unrest was in the atmosphere, and all believed the demons 
from Axatlan to be the spell-workers ; the fear of their rumour 
now increased by another, concerning a vast lurid cloud that « 
hung above the burning mountain. 

In the palace Toltiah lay bound and ashamed, a hindered 
interloper, in Marisa's apartments. The Queen had gone with 
her warriors, passing through the city and away by force of 
arms. Her armlet glittered on Toltiah's wrist, a token and a 
keepsake, and her mighty axe had lain by his head all night, 
significant of what could have been done. 

By the waterway the shipping was in confusion, the warships, 
with dragged anchors, grinding their sides in the midst of skiffs 
and ruined raft-gardens. The beach was strewn with a ghastly 
line of skeletons and bones, among which two or three large 
sharks, not yet dead, lay grounded and monstrous; while above 
the waves the Fish-god was leaning dangerously, with the arm 
that held the model of the Tacoatlanta lying, with its burden, 
in pieces at its feet. 

Later, an overpowering stench drew crowds to witness a 
marine mass that lay among some half-submerged rocks. It 
was a poulp of enormous size, the grisly tentacles waving in 
the water as it heaved, scaring the birds that had settled on 
it to cat out its great saucer-like eyes with their oblong pupils. 

310 



THE DEAFNESS OF THE NATION. 

Eels and serpents ravened the musky flesh, leaping to reach to 
where, from the gaping mandibles, hung the body of a woman 
with lank trailing hair, and features on which a dreadful doom 
had placed its mark, having been cast to the sea after some 
brutal festival, as useless, or that no after vengeance should 
befall through her. It was a sickening sight where the writhing 
creatures fought, giant congers barking as they plunged their 
thick bodies up through the tangle to tear at that white flesh, 
pressing back the elegant serpents that sculled with flattened 
tails and wriggled in the mass where the limp figure lay on 
that dread couch in all the beauty of its lissom curves ; mute 
witness of Earth's violence, an unheeded warning of the vengeance 
of Heaven. 



311 



CAP. XXII. 



SUSI. 



Yet Susi, the wife of Shem, coming as a last warning from 
Heaven, returned to the Imperial palace to obtain an audience 
of Azta. 

Unopposed she climbed the flights of red steps guarded by 
the andro-sphinxes, and beneath the shadow of one she turned 
and gazed slowly around over the pleasant gardens, perceiving 
with fear a subterranean conflict shake the sartreels. Led by 
her righteous instinct the fair woman entered the portals of the 
first pylon, nor heeded the colossi that appeared to gaze in-^ 
tently upon her, nor the gaudy frescoes. Through courts and 
galleries, columned, vaulted and of stupendous gorgeousness, 
the soft footfall echoed, not causing to cease the songs of 
caged birds, nor disturbing gentle domestic animals. Up flights 
of steps flanked by flowery colonnades and shadowed by beautiful 
arches echoing the ripple of fountains, she went with a sweet 
gravity, her face, as that of an angel, full of an inspired lovliness. 

As I reclined by Azta, striving to subdue her heart that it 
might be impressionable, the woman entered without hindrance, 
and as I gazed upon her beautiful features a great wave of holy 
enthusiasm swept over me. 

Yet her regards went out to Azta, tall, serene and glorious, 
reclining on a couch of ostrich-feathers, who turned her mystic 
eyes and pale, immovable features upon the sweet, shy woman 
so suddenly and unwarned confronting her in all her fresh 
young lovliness, looking, with her pure countenance, of a most 
etherial beauty. It was not the first time Azta had seen her 
closely, yet she started faintly as she observed the expression 
in her face, while Susi's blue eyes looked as though fascinated 
into her yellow orbs, and dilated largely. 

312 



SUSI. 

Azta suffered her long lashes to fall slowly, willing to exer- 
cise her charms and desirous of admiration with a longing that 
was the passion of her soul, although perchance she knew it 
not. Even from this one she desired homage, and indeed, 
obtained it. To Susi she appeared the most wonderful being 
that she had ever seen, and beautiful beyond all that report 
had said of her ; nor less the apartment, with its mirrors and 
furniture, heightened her majestic personality and spread a 
sublime spell about her. 

Dropping her blue eyes, thereby causing it to appear as 
though the sunlight had gone from two bright lakes, Susi made 
obeisance; and by her lissom grace created a more tender 
feehng, removing the sensation of hauteur to one whose family 
held so aloof from royal and popular failings and thereby con- 
veying a reproach (to Azta). 

" And who is this that would seek an audience in such sudden 
wise?" asked the Empress, with so gracious an intonation and 
yet with some astonished arrogance in it that the young woman 
looked up swiftly, feeling the temper of her mistress with sen- 
sitive intuition. 

" I am Susi, the wife of Shem," she said modestly, in a 
voice so sweet and musical that, with the memories of past 
indebtedness, Azta's heart went out to her with a great friend- 
ship, so that her manner was singularly tender as she hastened to 
convey her feelings to the shy petitioner and set her at ease. 

"Sit on my footstool," she said, smiling upon her with the 
flash of red rubies; "in my apartments thou mayest suffer all 
restraint to vanish; for see, I am a woman also as thyself ; fear 
not to speak that which is in thy heart, sweetest of our subjects." 

"Mighty Azta," Susi answered, "gracious is thy speech, for 
who could help but fear thee! and of a truth, I fear greatly. 
Yet suffer me to kneel at thy feet; and be kind to me, for it 
is a great matter of which I would speak ; neither am I as 
thou art, nor is my woman's heart braver than belongs to our 
sex in this thing." 

Now Azta was disturbed, believing it had something to do 
with Toltiah in some fashion, and restless until she should know 
what it was. 



ATLANTIS. 

"Nay, nay, child!" she said swiftly. "I have told thee that 
I am a woman too, with a woman's heart, and I will help 
thee. Is it of some false beloved that thou wouldst speak? 
Confide in me, sweet one, I will help thee." 

Susi's face flushed a rosy red of embarrassment and annoyance. 

" Ah nay 1 " she said, " I love but one man and have never 
suffered any but my lord ! " At which words Azta loved her 
yet the more, looking upon her very softly and wistfully in 
silence for a short space. 

"Speak on, fair one, after what fashion thou wilt," she said; 
and then, happening to cast her eyes upon me and observing 
with how much attention I gazed on Susi, a petulance fell upon 
her and a hardening of the heart. 

Susi cast her eyes around, now upon the walls, now upon 
the ceiling. Half she started, then halted, and, blushing deeply, 
fell into tears. The feeling that it was presumptuous for her 
to correct so great a one, her superior in age and estate, nearly 
overcame her. But before Azta, sullen and jealous, could offer, 
her tardy encouragement, a song-bird of surpassing beauty flew 
into the room and warbled wondrously. 

Looking steadfastly upon it, the rosy woman seemed to gather 
within herself inspiration and courage, and a majesty that was 
impressive gathered about her as, raising her starry eyes to 
Heaven, she drew herself up like a prophetess, her sweet young 
face setting solemnly and firmly and her body tense and straight. 

One glance she gave to me, so full of sad reproach and ad- 
monition that my soul melted within me ; and then in a voice 
measured and beautiful she spoke as though rehearsing from a 
document; and although at first her dark fringy lashes quivered, 
soon even this sign of weakness passed, and she spoke as an 
Angel. 

"O Queen," she said, "when the first forefathers of our race 
were created, the Lord Jehovah gave to them the gift of Life 
immortal, placing them higher in rank than the bright sons of 
Heaven ; and unto them was created Woman, which being of 
more spiritual mould might lead the soul of Man without straying. 
And, as the teachers know, this one disobeyed the command 
of the Creator and did that which was unseemly in the sight 

314 



SUSI. 

of Heaven, in that she came to know more than was ordained 
for her to know, not possessing government to withstand such 
knowledge. The which, with an immortal existence, would have 
wrought confusion ; and for this prevention the gift of Life was 
greatly decreased ; and while forgetfulness was bestowed upon 
each one, that experience would have to be begun afresh, 
punishment fell also upon the evil doers, of such sort as to 
hinder too great sin and render painful that which was necessary. 
Desire supplanted Love, and, as the rose, tore the hand that 
plucked it ; yet man preferred the pleasures of Earth to those 
of Heaven, nor did woman aid his soul longer ; for, falling, and 
of more spiritual mould, she fell deeper than he, for the greater 
the height the greater also the fall. And it is told of sin in- 
creasing and growing more abominable and evil, for to aid the 
forbidden knowledge of Earth does Woman suffer the sons of 
Heaven to approach her, pulling the ruin of Evil still deeper 
over herself, and them also." 

Azta's bosom heaved and an angry light gathered in her 
eyes ; but she was silent, not knowing by what power Susi 
spoke, and being greatly impressed by her utterance. 

" And these were souls with which she played," continued the in- 
spired voice, " and with the same fatal spirit that caused the first 
sin, she cast them aside for others, that she might know them 
also. And moral Man was as wax in her hands, and physical 
Man in poor avenge enslaved her body by force to compel her 
to his will in this. And she bore offspring to celestial lovers, 
which by reason of sin and being of finer mould sinned yet more 
deeply, until Mankind becomes an eyesore and a menace to 
Heaven." 

"Stop!" cried Azta in a terrible voice, not being able to 
support such things being put before her in set speech. " To 
what end is this?" she said in an insufferable voice; yet Susi 
quailed not. 

"Thou askest. To what end?" she cried, with splendid fire, 
her brave blue eyes meeting Azta's unflinchingly now, and the 
high beauty of an Angel in her face. " Hearken ! Thou art the 
ruler of Atlantis, strong in thy power and the wonder of thy 
presence ; thou, O Queen, canst cause the sin of the land to 

315 



ATLANTIS. 

cease. By a woman came death ; by a woman can come redemp- 
tion. Ay," she cried, in a thrilling voice, " by a woman redemp- 
tion will come 1 To Woman shall it be to conceive the lovliest 
Thing of Earth, to know it and believe in it so strongly that it 
shall come forth, Love Undying, in the time appointed ; pregnant 
with the renewed gift of Life immortal to conquer Sin and Death 
and lead back Man to the old worship. Mediator between God 
and Man shall Woman be, Medium of Heaven and Earth, body 
of Man and soul of Angel 1" 

Her arms were raised, and her eyes, marvellously beautiful, 
seemed to pierce the sky. She appeared not to breathe, and 
a subtle light surrounded her and kissed her red lips into a 
divine smile of rapture and prophecy, as she stood scarce resting 
upon her feet. 

Azta gazed half in fear, yet the poison of jealousy of her 
fair teacher cooled any enthusiasm, and she but felt angered 
that such should reproach her who had seen the hidden things 
and was so great and powerful. Therefore she said coldly,. 
" Thou art presumptuous." 

" Forgive me, my Queen," said Susi, with majestic dignity, 
"if my words are unpalatable; I do but speak with the voice 
of the Spirit within me, and willingly would I lay down my 
life for thine honorable promise of reformation." 

"Child!" cried the lady, leaning forward, impatient and 
annoyed, "thou hast said enough. Now gol" 

Susi looked at her with her beautiful eyes full of sorrow, 
and with a bitter cry of grief slowly sank down, embracing 
her knees. 

"My sweet lady, harden not thy heart to me," she sobbed; 
"didst thou but know how I regard thee and the faith I have 
in thy power and influence, thou wouldst not spurn me. For 
the souls of thy people, hear me! For thine own soul, hear!" 

"I will consider," said Azta softly. "Gol" 

Susi arose slowly, and never can I forget the look of those 
heavenly eyes that besought, adjured, warned. One long gaze 
she cast on all around, one last long look on Azta, and then 
she was gone, 

The F2mpress shook herself as one who would cast off a gar- 

316 



SUSI. 

ment, and laughed. "Little fooH " she said; yet the words 
found no echo in her heart. 

Susi retraced her silent steps through hall and corridor, 
accompanied by the bright bird that had sung so wondrously, 
which left her as she passed through into the outer court. Stand- 
ing in the midst of the great terraces of steps, she gazed upon 
the inscrutable face of one of the andro-sphinxes that looked so 
impassively into space. 

"What dost thou see?" she whispered. 

A great voice at her elbow startled her, saying, " And so my 
shy sweetheart has come to visit me?" 

She looked round quickly, and perceived Toltiah, beautiful 
in his vast symmetry and majestic in his godlike carriage and 
presence, as an Infernal god in might; and behind him came 
his pipe-bearer. The startled woman gazed long, unable to 
remove her eyes from the great ruddy mane and turquoise- 
studded teeth and the orbs that were so like Azta's. 

The reniembrance of former persecutions and knowledge of his 
terrible character filled her with dread, even as a small antelope 
quails before the swift ocelot, and her eyes sought the terraces 
and colonnades for aid. The giant, perceiving her terror, smiled, 
a drear grin of horror, waving away the slave. 

"Art afraid of thine old playmate?" he said in jest, albeit 
his voice was very rich and strong, yet falling as a note of doom. 

" I am going to my husband," answered Susi, with a desperate 
fear in her eyes, seeking vainly for help, while her tongue clave 
unto her throat. 

"Sweet Susi, thou wert ever wayward! Why fear me? Behold, 
I will give thee gifts suitable for a queen, and load thee with 
gems," he said; yet perceiving how her frightened eyes roamed, 
he became angry. 

"Fool that thou art to spurn my lovel" he cried. " By Zul, 
thou shalt repent it, and now!" 

"Toltiah, remember that thou art a man and I but a weak 
woman. Force me not against my will, for no good will come 
of it; for I have a husband, and there are others far more 
suited to thee than I." 

"Sweet fool, what are others to me?" he cried, his passion 

317 



ATLANTIS. 

but aroused by dalliance. " I love thee, Susi, and sure 'twere 
not to be despised what I offer." 

With the words he laid his hand on her soft round arm, and 
shook it angrily as he felt her tremble. 

"Think, think!" she cried piteously. "I have a husband 





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THE GIANT, PERCEIVING HER TERROR, SMILED. 

and love none but him. Shame not thyself and me, ruler of 
7\tlantis! What am I for such as thee?" 

"I love thee!" he cried in a fury; "it is enough; I honour 
whom I choose." 

Drawing her to him rudely, he imprinted an unchaste kiss 
on her lips. She shrieked and gasped, and, fainting, would 
have fallen, but the chief boisterously lifted her up into his 

318 



SUSI. 

great arms, gloating over her charms and his mastery over her. 

He kissed her again and again ferociously, crushing her soft body 
against his and still willing to play more with the lovely victim. 

A stifled sob burst from her, and a terrified wail of anguish, 
as she cried to Heaven to save her, struggling desperately in 
the brutal arms of her captor. Toltiah but laughed grimly and 
scanned her hssom form with delight, baring his teeth and 
smacking his lips in lewd enjoyment. 

A dull rumbling sound shook the atmosphere and caused a 
sickening sensation of dread and premonition of coming peril. 
The earth rolled, and a noise, increasing to the appalling roar 
of heaviest thunder, swayed it with a heaving movement. The 
terrified chieftain dropped his victim, as a dreadful convulsion 
rent the terraces in sunder; there puffing up from the dread 
chasm a cloud of dust that darkened the air. As the heaving 
waves of the sea the ground rocked, and distant confused sounds 
of panic and uproar arose, with crashing sounds of falling masses. 
Then a flash of dark lightning leaped upwards from the cavernous 
gulf and all was still. 

The dust settled and the sky was clear but for a small heavy 
cloud that rose up and up swiftly. Toltiah lay prone and 
terrified upon an edge of the dark pit, on the opposite side of 
which stood Susi. 

"Farewell," she said, with a world of sadness in her voice 
as she slowly departed; and, without a single backward glance, 
disappeared. 



319 



LIBER III 

THEEND OF ALL- FLESH 
IS COME BEFORE- ME- FOR 
THE-EARTH IS FILLED 
WITH -VIOLENCE -THROUGH 
THEM AND BEHOLD I WILL 
DESTROY THEM WITH THE 
EARTH 

GEN VI 13 



321 21 




CAP. I. 



THE CLOUD ON THE 

EDGE OF THE 

STORM. 



YMBOLS of the Wrath 
of God ! Bottomless 
vessels of His will 1 
Is it that vengeance 
shall never be ap- 
peased, and that for 
the offender is no 
forgiveness? Look, 
Elohi, upon the Earth, 
lying upon the fleecy 
clouds, bride of the 
Elements, and say 
why is sin within her, 
O Sinless Creator I 
Look where the 
breezes kiss her 
cheeks like velvet on which the beauteous dimples spread, and 
the light of the Sun discovers her watery girdle as spread with 
flashing gems. Prostitute is she, yet fair indeed; but what is 
beauty before Thee, who searchest hearts, nor sufferest Thy gifts 
to be used unpunished for evil ends? 

O God 1 O God ! Why is denied the eloquence that could tell 
the deep, deep feelings and knowledge of the heart, the know- 
ledge of Heaven and of hidden things, that sees so awfully 
clearly, but that cannot speak in tongues of man, and is speech- 



323 



ATLANTIS. 

less before its own depths of sight! That sees, but cannot, 
cannot describe ! 

Because, even as the visions pass the power of remembrance 




DEPTHS OF HORROR OF SILENT KNOWLEDGE! 



and of descriptive speech fades away, nor tongue can ever tell 
the spiritual inwardness of it. 

O horror of incapacity of expression 1 depths of horror of 
silent knozvledge that could zvreck universes 1 

324 



THE CLOUD ON THE EDGE OF THE STORM. 

But Man must choose by his own volition ; and again, O 
God! that that volition should be so subservient to varying 
moods and spiritual sight ! For at times Man sees clearly, and 
again, his mind is dull and empty. And no inspired speech 
can move the soul that Earth has laid a touch upon, that, 
anon, would weep at aught, yet transiently. Here in all its 
burning horror, and 7iozv gone! Gone I and Joy reigns where 
Sorrow stood triumphant, and the impression of Now lies over 
and obliterates utterly the impression of Then. 

So and forever. And even now speech fails me that might 
warn a world that may receive no lasting warning; for each 
atom must work its own end, which is the curse. 

Now it came that because of the fulness of time and of the 
sin of Man that certain revolutions were accomplished, and the 
Heavens, moving under the Word, caused signs to be seen of 
Earth and great perturbation thereby. And a mighty Comet oc, 
exercising certain power, moved in the Heavens to the upsetting of 
just balances, and sickness befel, and a great part of all flesh died. 

And how can I tell the fears that assailed me. Father of 
mercy ! my love tore my bosom and rendered me suffering 
beyond all speech, mingled with the awful knowledge that for 
no recompense had I sinned more damnably than any of the 
evil ones. The great love that should have exalted Heaven 
and saved Earth fell in its unconquerable might into evil paths, 
begetting sin and more great confusion ; and now I looked upon 
the beginning of Judgment with a heart burning with reproachful 

X This statement perhaps elucidates a vexed question as to the cause of the 
Flood, and would explain it even without the cooperation of other forces if 
Lalande's calculation may be taken as correct — that the approach of a Comet of 
the same size as the Earth within 13,290 miles would raise the ocean 2000 fathoms 
and thereby produce a deluge. 

It is probable that some great disturbance took place by which the balance of 
the earth was upset, for as we hear of the Rainbow being manifested for the 
first time at the period of the Flood, we may imagine that the Sun was brought 
into a position to cause the rays to refract upon falling drops of water, visible at 
an angle hitherto unattained, and cause the wonderful coloured circles, which phe- 
nomenon disappears when the luminary is more than 40° above the horizon. 

The question as to the dependence of heavenly bodies upon one another is of 
the greatest intei'est, and some brief information as to the electrical communion 
between the Earth and Sun will be found in note «, p. 355. 



ATLANTIS. 

agony of rebellion and sorrow, and, wandering up and down in 
all places, pondered upon many things, considering ways by 
which haply I might save my Love. Now, securely hidden 
near Axatlan, among the mountains, was a small village of huts 
where abode the patriarch Noah and his three sons with their 
wives and families and servants, apart from all human inter- 
course. A few leagues to the north arose the mighty cone of 
the volcano ; around them rugged peaks lifted their heads to 
the clouds, above forests of tall trees that sheltered the wild 
doves and myriads of apes and large bats, and among which 
ran the tusked boar and the lithe and beautiful ocelot, while 
by cool lakes and rivulets the anaconda coiled in deadly length 
its folds of yellow body, disputing its prey with great animals 
that had hard spikes upon their scaly harness, and huge teeth, 
akin to the monsters of the Hilen, In caves lived fierce bears, 
and soaring eagles built on the higher peaks, swooping upon 
rabbits and small animals below for their sustenance. 

In the more southern forests lived baboons and enormous 
apes, and serpents as large as trees ; flocks of brilliant macaws 
rivalled the flowers in colour, and pelicans, flamingoes and swans 
lived in the pools. Myriads of scorpions, spiders, humming 
birds and fire-flies haunted the groves, food for hideous tortoises 
and uncouth animals, unwotting of the sin of Man in a great 
measure. 

I'^ields of wild maize stretched in golden glory afar, shaded 
by stately palms and great forest trees, where chamelions ran 
on the borders of deserts. Pine-apples and melons grew in 
their varying localities, oranges hung their golden globes among 
the green leaves, and bunches of the wholesome banana hung, 
food for the mammoth and many other animals. Sugar-canes 
yielded their luscious sap, tempting huge ants and bees ; from 
every woodland temple rose the songs of birds to Heaven, and 
insects, that of a night rivalled the light of stars, flitted in 
countless legions of brightness around. 

In this (juiet spot where lay the village, all was peaceful, yet 
the wondrous Heavenly appearances began to aflray the in- 
habitants in their solitudes, and the gentle women trembled at 
the shock of the earthquake and the lurid coronet of Axatlan 



THE CLOUD ON THE EDGE OF THE STORM, 

quivering in the night in rolling awfulness and lighting the 
clouds that gathered above it. The growing youths with delight 
kept the larder supplied with fresh fruits, pleased to live un- 
trammelled in such a place, where forests full of animals stretched 
afar and fish leaped in every stream, and the younger children 
gambolled among the rocks and ran over the plateaux with 
shouts of baby mirth. 

P'air little beings they, in all the beauteous unconsciousness 
of displayed lovliness and charming innocence, on whom Earth 
had not as yet laid a taint, whose arts wooed Love for Love's 
own sake ; exulting in the indescribable joy of Heaven from 
which their spirits had but newly come and whom Angels 
delighted to watch and guard. Dear little souls with their 
sinless eyes that looked so fearlessly upon everything, nor 
dropped for shame of aught, unknowing of such I Ah, could 
they but remain in their baby lovliness, purifying instead of 
defiling, with their pure innocence reminding Man of the state 
from which he came ! And beyond, in the great world, were 
sins they dreamed not of; awful confusion, wrought by Man 
in defiance of high Heaven, that left nought uncontaminated, 
spreading and increasing and heaping up a mass of ruin that 
would fall and crush him. 

That son of Ham, which was named Mizraim, wished to 
build there a city in place of their small huts, wherefrom to 
sally forth and establish a kingdom; yet now over all was a 
tentative feeling of waiting and a wonderment at the tarrying 
there and the signs in the Heavens. Near the village, in a 
natural basin, lay a huge structure of wood, of appearance like 
to a great dwelling, and every day the inhabitants of the huts 
crowded about it, and, although engaged on raising it, not 
comprehending its meaning or use. The young ones ran glee- 
fully over the long baulks of timber while the women stood 
pensively watching, with wonder in their big soft eyes, the men 
wielding heavy mallets and adzes and sweating at the mighty 
beams to push them into position. Strange it was to perceive 
there in the wilderness, and living in huts, beings clothed in 
the beautiful stuffs of an advanced civilization, dwelling in com- 
liness, with hair meetly^ attended to and secured with gold pins; 

327 



CAP. II. 



THE k:y warning of doom. 



Day by day the structure grew. Solid and vast, careful in 
every detail and little part, it progressed slowly but surely, 
surrounded by splinters and fragments and exhaling a fresh 
resinous odour. Three hundred cubits in length it stretched, and 
the proudest giants of the western forests made that length. 
Right and left it lay for fifty cubits, a mammoth house, tower- 
ing thirty cubits high from the earth x, the joints secured by 
wooden pins and sturdy thongs of leather, whose responsibilities 
were lightened by nice balance of straining angles. The form 
took that of a boat, slanting upwards from its base and over- 
hanging at the ends and sides, (as a vessel is built to lessen 
the submersion caused by a roll or pitch). Rough ladders gave 
access to the topmost timbers secured from side to side by 
great beams, knees and staunchions holding the ribs to the 
bottom, and as long tendrils the pulley-ropes hung about the 
skeleton, like the coloured festoons of climbing plants in the 
valleys and groves of trees. 

Long timbers, fitted with care, began to cover up the inter- 
lacing view of crossed beams with smooth white walls of wood, 
on one side a scjuare door being left, near the top, and the long 
windows for permission of air, through which, when the Sun 

« 'I'lie measure I call a cubit, remenihering the Mosaic description, with which 
it would tally. This, t.akeii at eighteen inches, would make the ark of Noah four 
huiidied and t^ifty feet long hy seventy-five hroad and forty-five feet high. 

I >r. J. Muehleisen Arnold in ''Genesis and Science" says: — Lest it should he 
dccincd that those ilivinely-given proportions were offensive to the eye it may he 
added that all the normal proportions of the human body can he tracetl in it. 
The length is to the breadth as six to one. and the breadth to the height as five 
to three, so that the ark alloat upon the waters represented the form and dimen- 
sions of the human liody in a lying ])osition. 



THE ICY WARNING OF DOOM. 

had set and the flame of Axatlan became visible, the children 
would peep, shrinking with pleasant fear as they perceived the 
dark vault within, where they dared not venture save in the 
brightness of the day. 

Inside the large structure foundations were laid for two floors, 
huge solid columns of wood forming the strong supports being 
wedged up and fixed securely under the unhesitating directions 
of the two advisers, whose mandates were implicitly obeyed. 

And, although hidden within their modest bosoms, the cu- 
riosity of the women was intense concerning this thing, nor was 
it by any means lessened by their husbands' protestations that 
they were equally ignorant as to its ultimate end. It appeared 
to be a large ship ; yet they deemed a ship as of no conceiv- 
able use amidst the mountains, and but marvelled so much the 
more. Ham, jeering and insolent, suggested that perchance it 
was granted to them to be the forerunners of their nation and 
sail through the sky to Eden, but the sire sternly reproved 
his levity. 

The wonder of it was upon all, pleasing and terrifying by 
turns, and imparting a tentative feeling of sojourning until some- 
thing great should happen ; and many would wish to return to 
Zul and be among the crowds of their fellows, and away from 
here, from Axatlan and from the terrifying signs of Heaven 
and vague fear of what the building portended. 

And especially the women sighed for the palaces and gorgeous 
sights they had been constrained to leave behind, and per- 
chance there were regretful memories of courtly admirers whose 
smiles left favourable impressions. Well they remembered that 
their own blooming charms were superior to the faded roses 
of the beauties of Zul, and what woman could forego admira- 
tion without a sigh? 

So they dreamed of the past as they watched the progress 
of the great wooden structure, shyly and blushing at their own 
thoughts, pertimes half-guiltily, and again relieved that here 
were no temptations. So insidious is sin and the contemplation 
of itl Still upon their round limbs glittered the golden rings, 
heavy and curiously wrought, set with precious stones that had 
been found in digging foundations, and supposed to be born 

331 



ATLANTIS. 

of sunbeams by the coloured rocks ; and round the evening fire 
they wrapped around them the grand cloaks that would have 
graced the painted halls of Zul, and with them the men here 
preferred to cover their heads instead of with massy helmets. 

Occasionally tremors shook the earth, causing dismay and 
terror, and an icy breath went abroad over the world, such as 
had never been known of before. From the north and from the 
east came that cold terror, with the legions of the hail and the 
pains of death, so that many died and all were afraid. To these 
workers in the mountains also came great fear, perceiving how 
the leaves of the trees withered and the sartreels and ferns and 
palms and roses died, but the strangers reassured the frightened 
people and urged on the workmen. The long floors were placed 
on their foundations and secured, each having apertures through 
which a gentle slope led to the lower storey, faintly illumined 
by the light through the apertures. Every part was finished 
with the utmost care ; it was for life they worked, and no haste 
must imperil it. And the more they wondered as the work 
progressed, and the two floors divided the internal space into 
three storeys, dark and mysterious, while the deck-like roof 
began to close over the whole, sloping like a turtle's back, or 
like that of the monsters of the deep that wallowed upon the 
waves occasionally. In the centre of the deck also another 
window was formed, a hatchway that rose above the white 
exi)anse. There was no confusion, no hesitation as to the plan. 
The strangers advised and directed, and Japheth designed, him- 
self working with the rest, splitting wood and adzing the planks, 
lifting, pulling, hammering and fixing. And every night came 
that cold breath, causing a veil of gleaming silver to spread 
over all things, and sealing up the fountains of water. And 
being so strange it caused uneasiness and no small discomfort, 
and the ship-like building also was covered with that white 
beauty. x 

On every seventh day the workers rested from their labours, 
and led by the sire raised their voices in prayer and praise. 
They prayed for Atlantis, for Zul, for all those gay princes and 

a. For theory as to probable approach of glacial epoch see Appendix § 5- 



THE ICY WARNING OF DOOM. 

ladies, and Susi prayed for Azta. She believed her to be cap- 
able of anything, regarding her (as indeed did everyone else) 
as a supernatural being who could influence any way she chose. 
She prayed for Toltiah and pleaded his high birth before Hea- 
ven ; and raised her sweet petition for me, which was so 
unworthy of such pure regard. She prayed that if by her death 
the sins of the nation might be forgiven that Heaven would 
take her soul. 

Upon Saria, the younger stranger, she turned her dewy eyes, 
her features suffused with a modest blush. 

"Sir," she said, "could aught atone for the sins of a nation r " 

" Sweet mortal," answered the heavenly prince, with a look 
of chaste love, "thy words are heard in Heaven, yet not by 
thy blood nor by any other's could sin be checked ; not though 
the Seraphim descended to the Earth could the confusion be 
ended. By blasphemies that thou couldst never understand and 
by sins that have grown on other iniquities has man sealed 
his doom, and behold it is spoken that he must cease, for that 
his sins shake the firmament. A new race shall arise, sprung 
from a chosen few, whose seed shall replenish the Earth and 
perchance lead the heathen to the light of Heaven; yet still 
shall sin never cease." 

Greatly saddened, Susi hung her head, and abashed at her 
boldness in striving with one whom she perceived to be of 
Celestial mould, said softly : " Is there no hope for these created? " 

I saw the bright eyes of Saria dwell with love upon the 
beauteous woman, yet not for long, and gazing steadfastly upward, 
he answered : 

"Too long has mercy been extended, O thou fair pleader. 
Perchance 'twere better had the sword of mighty Gabriel been 
suffered to fall on the first offenders of the race than indulgence 
have been granted. For now the cry of nameless Sin roars in 
awful blasphemy in the ears of Heaven, and words are spoken 
that cannot be reversed." 

"Is it then hopeless?" 

" Hopeless in truth : yet pitying eyes look sadly on a doomed 
race and weep for a misguided and potential volition that ever 
leans to sin and that even the Creator cannot check. Pray for 

333 



ATLANTIS. 

thyself, dear lady, and for thy people, for sin is not far from 
some among you." 

Startled at these words Susi looked up, fear dilating her starry 
eyes ; but encountered a glance so beautiful and holy and full 
of heavenly love that she ceased her fear and dropped her lashes 
with modest joy. 

The stranger went forth and Susi pondered long and deeply 
upon his words. On her knees she considered, yet not daring 
to pray now, neither to strive against the spoken Word. Her 
mind, innocent as a child's, dwelt in awe upon these things, and 
she was silent. 

Abstractedly she gazed out to where in the evening glow 
stretched the long mysterious building of wood, shadowy and 
leviathan. Yet how could she guess for what purpose it was 
for, up among the mountains I As a refuge against any sent to 
take them it would have been but of little avail, being readily 
consumable by fire. But so much the more the inflexible reality 
of some dread purpose overcame her with fear, and for a space- 
her mind reeled beneath the certainty of doom, and her eyes, 
large and vague, rolled round in horror. 

At the evening meal when they gathered round the wel- 
come fire she recounted the words of the stranger, that were 
so pregnant with implacable vengeance upon Man; and the sire, 
listening with his eyes closed and brows contracted with pain 
under the white cowl of his robe secured round his head, caressed 
the brown hair of his favourite in silence. But her words caused 
uneasiness, and confirmation of a suspicion came with sensations 
of terror upon all. 

Ham laughed defiantly, yet not with mirth ; butShem andjapheth 
were silent and the women paled with fear. The shadow stayed 
with them, and Susi's tragic words cast a gloom over the little 
tribe. What was happening now in Zul? Did those gorgeous 
halls still reecho the wanton laugh and drunken altercation, the 
shouts of warriors and the silvery merriment of the fair ladies } 
Did the magicians still dare to show the hidden mysteries and 
the dreadful crowds still dance in the Market-place round their 
fires, in the face of dread signs in the Heavens and upheavals 
of the Earth? Could their terrible human nature still dare? Did 

334 



THE ICY WARNING OF DOOM. 

martyrs still die on Zul's bloody altars in horrors of torment 
when the elements smote down their victims in scores all around 
by the terror of cold and hail and lightning? 

Sadly I considered the fate whereby I had seen Azta; for 
centuries here or there would have mattered nought to me, and 
none other could have compelled that strange wild adoration 
that she received so carelessly; but I blamed myself bitterly 
for having stayed when I first observed, and for not considering 
the deepness of the quagmire into which I had permitted my- 
self to be led. 



335 



CAP. III. 



THE FOLLY OF THE LAND. 



TilK more I saw of Susi the more I grieved that my Love 
was not as she, fitter to be the Love of Angel than of an Earthly 
being. Sorrowfully I looked upon all my career since I had 
forsaken the guidance of Heaven and had attempted to interfere 
in that which God Himself could not direct, chaining myself 
with an Earthly alliance that was proving so disastrous. I looked 
back on all my madness, on deeds that I had frustrated by. 
misdirected efforts, that would have been better left to their proper 
workers, and on others again that I had weakly allowed to proceed. 

I looked upon the gathering culmination with dire forebodings ; 
with an injurious eye to Mankind and a wild reproach to Azta 
who was so wickedly froward. As a wild bull caught in a net 
I plunged in spirit, roaring with rage and pain, blaming all 
things, and myself as well, for the torments I endured and those 
vague horrors to come. Only in this quiet spot could I support 
my soul at all, and I oft gazed with love upon Zula and Saria, 
longing to reveal myself unto them, yet not daring; quietly 
watching the progress of the great wooden building and wondering 
for why it was being prepared. 

One night upon the cold high deck Susi stood alone, gazing 
upon the surrounding scenery, noting where the glow of the camp- 
fire lighted upon dark dead ferns and trees, and how curiously 
the unusual clouds formed themselves. A low weird song came 
to her ears from below, from where one of the women hushed 
her babe to sleep, but save for that and the chirp of a cricket 
all was still and silent. Afar to the east she thought she perceived 
a faint light, and, standing unperceived by her, my mind with 
hers pictured the great dark temple crowning the hill with its 
walls and towers and steps, rising storey above storey up to where 

336 



THE FOLLY OF THE LAND. 

the evil flame waved ; and in fancy stood revealed the torch- 
lighted hall of the palace, the roar of wanton voices and the 
occasional growl of the lions. There recHned Azta and Toltiah, 
and outside lay those stony figures with the mute impassive 
features. If they could but speak — but warnl 

A slight cry from Susi caused me to awake from the painful 
dream. She was gazing to the north, to Mount Axatlan, with 
a terrified trembling, and moved by her distress I revealed my- 
self, and bade her fear not, remembering how Heaven would 
protect her. And so, holding the hand of the fair being, we 
watched; and as we gazed a huge splendid meteor traversed 
the sky and rested over the burning mountain, lighting the whole 
Earth with a wonderous glamour of brightness, while among the 
clouds the echoing thunders rolled. Upon the path of that bright 
glory hung a veily cloud, still and motionless, and thence also 
arrived the sound of shattering explosions that shook the firm 
Earth. 

And now the sullen flame of the volcano appeared to assume 
a human form of colossal dimensions, and the countenance was 
vivid and animated. The Hps opened eagerly with a great import, 
but a hand flashed forth and the finger sealed those fateful lips : 
the countenance became as those of the stone lions, immovable, 
serene and placid, yet with an expression of awful solemnity. 

How gazed that Majesty of Flame ! The woman's eyes could 
not withstand the might of observation that rested upon us, and 
the orbs of horror that met my reproachful and defiant challenge. 
But for my supporting arm she would have fallen, her eyes 
closed and her bosom rising and falling quickly. 

The voice of Arsayalalyur the Archangel bade her be of 
good courage and watch; and as, fearfully, she looked upon 
the distant glory, my eyes met his that were full of a great 
sorrow and compassion. 

"What dost thou here, Asia?" he asked. 

"I look upon the Future," I answered, "and it is very dark." 

Perchance the despair in my voice answered more than any 
words. The bright Angel was silent, courteously deprecating 
his interference with a wave of the hand. It seemed as though 
three of Us stood there, so ethereal was Susi ; the destroyer, 

337 " 



ATLANTIS. 

the rescuer, the mourner. Nor penitent was I, for a dreadful 
turmoil burned my spirit in its heaving waves of fire. But 
the woman gazed upon us longingly, and, " Would I were as 
you," she said, enraptured, " for the Earth is very small com- 
pared to Heaven, and how tiny its affairs 1 " 

But Arsayalalyur spake: "O thou sweet mortal! Even thou 
art not all good, and see, how can such be contemptible that 
can arouse Heaven to such stern movement .f^ There is that in 
the amalgamation of Earth and Heaven which is very terrible, 
and who can fathom it.^"<35 

Susi dropped her eyes, and in sympathy with her confusion 
I bent down and kissed her forehead, protecting her with my 
arm and the kinship of my feelings, so that she looked up and 
thanked me with a sweet look. The storm burst over our heads, 
and upon Axatlan the Form of flame unsheathed from its hip 
a sword that flashed with living light, and whirled it beneath 
the clouds over all the land. A fan of lightning swept from it, 
of blinding magnificence and volume, and then the darknesg. 
rolled down intensely, wrapping the world in ebon obscurity. 

I felt the soft form in my arms tremble. 

"O sorrow!" she cried, "that such punishment must come. 
And thou, who sat with Azta and art an holy Angel, could'st 
thou not stay the sin that causes such vengeance ? " 

I felt as though before this pure being I was a sinner indeed, 
and fain would I have cast myself down and told her with 
passionate grief how I had erred and been chained in spirit, 
watching with agony that which I had caused beyond all pre- 
vention, yet still remaining stiff-necked and rebellious. Yet I 
but groaned and was speechless. 

Susi was of smaller frame than Azta, and I felt to her all 
the tenderness of a father as I comforted her fears and restored 
her to her frightened relatives, bidding the recital of all that 
she had seen that they might be the more ready to conform 
to whatsoever the future might bring to them. 

« We may here consider the agony of our Lord as the time for his approaching 
physical death drew nigh. What but the mystic meaning of the above words 
could cause the Son of God to fear a doom of earth? We cannot guess what 
tile words mean; we can only l)elieve that the mystery is "very terrible". 



THE FOLLY OF THE LAND. 

And afterwards the building of the great vessel progressed 
more readily, all understanding that for their lives they builded; 
yet being ignorant of the cause of such preparation. The deck 
covered wholly the structure, topped by the square hatchway, 
to the fitting of which door and of the door appertaining to the 
way in the side the nicest attention and care was given, that 
they should bar ingress of aught. The strangers inspected 
all the workmanship, and showed where lakes of bitumen lay, 
from which was taken sufficient to pitch the structure within 
and without. Stopping was hammered into any crevices, and 
from large hollows in the earth, heated by surrounding fires, 
the boiling fluid was placed upon the wood by means of bundles 
of soft material on the end of poles. 

And there was war among the Elements by reason that 
balances were disturbed, and this attracted and that repulsed 
more than was meet. And watery worlds which revolved in 
certain dark places in the firmament ran together in confusion, 
wherein great meteors plunged in glory, yet scarce perceived 
of Earth. From Mount Axatlan came a storm of black dust 
lasting many days, falling even within the streets of Zul and 
lying like an ebon pall upon the sea, and many Spirits strove 
together in the air and rode with shouts upon the north wind. 
The unwonted cold rendered the peoples uneasy, and by reason 
of it also the flocks and herds perished and the trees withered. 
But the little place in the hills was secure from harm, being 
well sheltered, and the tempests which bowed the forests sped 
harmlessly over the village wherein dwelt the beloved of God. 

Yet even now was no account made of the great signs in 
the Heavens, and I wept with despair to perceive the idolatry 
of the peoples of the land, which rather grew in frenzy than 
abated. For by chance one day I came to a place where w^as 
a tall hill in the midst of a great tribe which had cities and 
mighty men, and aforetimes knew the name of Jehovah. And 
upon the hill lay a mighty semblance of a serpent, built of 
earth and stones, which stretched between the east and west, 
and whereof the middle was of the height of a man and con- 
taining a temple wherein burned a fire. Before its gaping jaws 
rose a circular mound, and the interpretation was that of the 

339 



ATLANTIS. 

Earth being cast forth by the serpent, which was worshipped 
in the temple, all the people which stood therein looking towards 
the Sunrise and worshipping the beast. And at certain seasons 
were offered little children, which were placed within the fur- 
nace, and whose spirits were believed to guard the place from 
improper or injurious intrusion; which sacrifices were made the 
occasion of great celebrations ; and live serpents were cast among 
the people, and any who were bitten by them were esteemed 
to be beloved of the god. The birds and beasts also, which 
preyed upon these reptiles, were destroyed, so that their num- 
bers were very great, and those who died of their poison were 
cast upon the furnace. Nor were there few of such, and at 
the season when the serpents by reason of nature were full 
of frenzy, the people held great festivals and died in numbers; 
and he who killed a snake by accident or design was hamstrung 
and placed in a certain spot where dwelt a great white anaconda 
which all believed to be the Spirit of the image upon the hill, 
that it might deal with him as it pleased. . 

And when these people observed the signs which were over 
all the Earth they believed the god to be angry with them, 
and making themselves drunk with the juice of the vines (which 
grew abundantly about them), they offered monstrous sacrifices 
to the earth-formed image, sacrificing their children and mis- 
tresses with dreadful rites, burying some alive within it and 
burning others. Their imaginations conceived nameless horrors ; 
and with a curse upon their frowardness I went from the place, 
wandering in dismay over the land and discovering nought but 
abominations of evil, perceiving how celestial imaginations had 
caused the committal of atrocious crimes among man and beast. 
The grand temples with their outbuildings and fountained courts 
were but monuments of sin, and the fair cities, palm-shaded 
and far-stretching in glories of massive architecture, held but a 
hive of devils, goodly to look upon, but debased and prostituted 
beyond aid or hindrance, bowing the knee, with that strange 
instinct of man to worship a tangible something, to creations 
that would have shocked even them could they have com- 
prehended their hideous enormity. 

With a sad pleasure I looked upon the family of Noah the 

340 



THE FOLI.Y OF THE LAND. 

Righteous, gathered around their frowning wooden palace and 
raising their regards to Heaven, pure-minded because that their 
hearts ever dwelt upon the Beautiful and were pleased with 
the contemplation of it. By the command of Zula the great 
vessel was named the Mexiah, and to its structure no more 
was added. The little ones were not so pleased with their 
playground now, for, in place of long beams and cross-stays, 
there were but smooth bare walls, and the large dark interior 
frayed them. Still they ran merrily over the expanse of deck, 
and held no fear, like their elders, of impending doom, and 
no momentary dread that those who were now regarded as 
enemies would discover and enslave them or put them to the torture. 
Neither yet had sin cast its dark shadow over their minds, and 
as long as they had plenty of food they lacked nought. Such 
happy little mites were they with their Angel natures, and it 
gave me pleasure to watch how they disported themselves with- 
out a thought of care or sorrow. They never dreamed that 
this great house was the saving ark of a nation, nor that they 
themselves were the future responsible forefathers who should 
people the new world with countless myriads of living souls. 



341 



CAP. IV. 



THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS. 



With the earthquake that had separated Toltiah and Susi 
the change had come over the seasons. Terrific omens were 
abroad in Zul; strangers of terrible aspect were seen, coming 
from where no man knew and disappearing mysteriously; a 
great dark bird had extinguished the flame on the temple, and 
simultaneously the fires on the temples of Neptsis, the Serpent, 
Winged Things, and all the others had expired ; a leviathan 
had appeared off the coast for some days, fearful of aspect and 
prodigious of bulk; while the black storm from Axatlan had 
covered the city and the waves with ashes, and there were 
rumours of many new volcanoes and appearances of meteors. 

Toltiah associated these things with the curse of Noah, and, 
mad with a feminine terror and fury, caused the guards of the 
gates to be massacred to a man, supposing them to have slept 
while he passed forth. 

The earth tremor was followed by two others, so that half 
the great city was nearly in ruins. From the walls every idol 
had been shaken down, and the Fish-god by the landing-stage 
in the harbour lay submerged in the deep water, appearing by 
the movement of the surface and the refraction of shadows to 
move and writhe. Everywhere stretched long fissures, in places 
dividing houses in halves and piling up masses of debris with 
columns and beams. The magician Gorgia died in agony among 
the ruins, where, scalped and pinned down by a vast column, 
some embers from a fire fell upon him continually ; and in the 
lingering torture of a slow furnace and the stings of clouds of 
flies he died; and also in like manner many perished. 

The unfinished building of the Baths was not touched, although 
its great reservoirs of water were shaken, but the temple of 

342 



THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS. 

Winged Things was levelled to the ground, falling in thundrous 
ruins, and the Pyramid of Atlace was despoiled of its crowning 
symbol. A gloom was over all the city and dismay sat in 
every heart ; and now of a night the far clouds were seen redly 
illumined by some mysterious fire that added fear to the terrify- 
ing things around. 

The red palace had suffered severely, a fissure parting the 
terraced steps from top to bottom and dividing the Hall of 
Feasting one-third from the remaining part. Upon the main 
roof an anaconda lay coiled, yet how it came there none knew, 
nor did any dare approach it. And Toltiah was greatly moved 
thereby, remembering that great serpent which had come to 
him in a vision when he lay with his army before the walls, 
which had bade him go back, nor dare the anger of the gods. 
But Azta killed it with Marisa's axe. And much damage was 
wrought to the colonnades and statuary, and a continual earthy 
dust arose, carrying with its strange odour a feeling of depression 
and fear. 

And I saw where Amaziel wrestled in Zul with a portentious 
Spirit in the chamber where he dwelt, both striving for mastery 
with great gaspings, while from communicating dark chambers 
came many other Spirits to watch in those days of the beginning 
of vengeance. And the portentious Spirit broke away and fled 
downwards through the place of the colossi, and downwards 
past where the three vast idols looked upon the lake of fire, 
disappearing therein. 

And, hfting up my eyes from afar, I perceived in the night 
a long line of bats issuing forth from the temple in swift flight. 
And more came forth, and yet more, and there was no end to 
the silent exodus of the small people which wheeled up and up 
into the sky and departed over the sea with such silent ordering. 
As I watched I marvelled, and ever issued the winged shadows, 
without squeak or any sort of sound, and the mystery of it lay 
heavily upon me. Also the sea moved with a different fashion 
to its usual wont, hurling great waves to the shore and swirling 
in vast eddies ; while from it seemed to rise unceasingly a 
moaning and weeping sound, and the dense clouds covered all 
the sky with darkness, and a leaden horror of night. 

343 




THE SMALL PEOPLE WHICH WKEELEDj^UP AND UP INTO THE SKY. 



THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS. 

Azta I found dismayed by all such things, for having seen 
more than the rest she also feared more; and in her terror my 
heart went out to her with a love made greater by absence 
that was all unavailing to make me forget her or to keep 
from her. 

How could we but sorrow! Partners in sin we stood looking 
forth from the western colonnade, the shadow upon us deepening 
as a low heavy roll of thunder muttered from the clouds and 
a great light became visible, illuminating Earth and. sky for a 
long while. And it was night. 

"O my Love!" Azta wept, clinging to me, "what shall befall 
us? For when I think upon all the wonders that my eyes have 
looked within, my mind becomes but a bewildering chaos of 
mystification, in which I perceive but an ungovernable vastness 
of living terrors without possessing any knowledge of a power 
that could direct and restrain the unutterable immensity of awful 
creation. I shrink in terror from my thoughts. Beloved ! Would 
that my impious mind had never gazed upon those mysteries!" 

"Alas, poor Love," I answered her, sadly enough, for my 
soul was also distraught with fear ; " would that I might 
comfort thee 1" 

"Ay, comfort me!" she implored; and the bright moon 
flashed forth upon her, lighting her wild eyes and her face that 
was deadly pale, and showing where the mocking chaplets of 
roses hung beneath her uncovered breasts — the wanton decora- 
tions of a late feast that seemed to shrink before the terror of 
the elements. "Comfort me! For my senses swim with horror 
at times, and my thoughts helplessly stagger from infinity to 
infinity. Would I were as the lower animals that think not!" 

I pressed her to my heart, and front to front our two hearts 
beat with pain and anguish ; while, dismayed, I perceived that 
again Azta wore in her hair the golden symbol of a butterfly 
and her eyes were red with wine as they looked into mine. 

A sort of horrible calmness fell upon my spirit, with a feeling 
that this surpassingly lovely wanton deserved some punishment 
then a rebellious rage against Heaven, that such should need to 
be at all, possessed me, together with a blasting scorn against 
myself. With a strange coldness I held the beautiful being in 

345 



ATLANTIS. 

my arms, noting, with no enthusiasm, her splendour of form, and 
criticising with calm eyes the glory of her features upturned to 
mine. What Wonder was this that I held, this last of created 
beings? Was It of Earth or Heaven? 

I gazed at her almost in terror as the thought came to me 
(that had come once before): Who is master? Myself, or she? 
and for a moment I wished I had not returned to her, but 
wandered in solitude afar until all was inevitably accomplished. 

" Behold, thy love is gone from me !" she cried bitterly, 
" and I shall die ! Wilt thou forsake me now that the Sun is 
hid and darkness is over all? Long hast thou been absent, and 
my heart has waited in sorrow for thee, my Beloved." 

She wept and clung about me, and in grievous pity for her 
I wept also. Whereat she took courage and said, " If thou 
lovest me as thou hast said, it is well." 

These words struck my mind in such fashion that I laughed 
with scorn and blaspheming merriment. 

"Yea, in very truth, it is well!" I cried; " Love is the greatest^ 
thing in Earth and Heaven; it creates and then ruins, and 
laughs at the wreck. Love sits in Heaven and nourishes the 
Earth, making it large and fat for the sacrifice, punishing aught 
that unwittingly crosses its caprices with unrelenting hate. We 
two can laugh at all that may come, because we love ; soaring 
above a world whose regards rise no higher than its belly ; 
hand in hand can we go to the gates of Paradise and claim 
admission, because we do very fully that which we were instructed 
to do; and if in ought we have sinned, and crave upon our 
mouldering knees for forgiveness, surely He who is Love and 
Mercy will forgive! There can be no Hell for us: how can there 
be Hell where love is? Of a surety we are blessed, thou and 1 1 " 

Azta looked at me and trembled as she gazed. 

" Thou jestest, Asia," she whispered fearfully. 

"And why not?" I asked in savage bitterness, tormented and 
horror-stricken. "It is permitted to celestial beings to indulge 
in mirth, even as Azazel provoked the laughter of Heaven by 
creating a Platypus ; and when the heart is full of mirth the 
jest will arise. Was not merriment created for good, in order 
that the gloom might fall yet the deeper and more bitter for 

346 



THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS. 

that light from the Paradise of fools 1 Accursed, aye, and twice 
and thrice accursed be the Love that can so destroy its own 
children and drive them from the brightness of morning to the 
dark of night! Accursed be the Love that can see its penitent 
worshippers writhe in flames of Hell and take no heed of their 
remorseful sufferings! Accursed be that Heaven that can create 
and continue creating evil for to destroy it in weltering misery, 
that can raise its own chaste head above the abominations of 
its womb and trample its own creations under foot I " 

A great voice checked the torrent of my fury and my impious 
words. 

"Peace, O Asia, thou fallen being!" it thundered: "Thou 
knowest that sin is not of Heaven, but of volition. There is 
no sin too powerful to be overcome if the will is there, and 
why dost thou farther insult the ear of Heaven by thy curses?" 

And there stood against me the leader of the Seraphim, great 
Chrison, whom formerly I loved ; and now, strong in my de- 
spair and not quailing before his celestial splendour I confronted 
him with upright carriage. 

"I have sinned," I cried, "and bitterly am I punished these 
long whiles without cessation or hope of aught. Yet get thee 
from before me, thou who art holy, and taunt not one who has 
known more suffering than thyself Perchance my woes shall 
crown me with a brighter, if sterner, diadem than any that thy 
smooth path of righteousness could bestow, and pain uplift the 
spirit to a higher level than sin has lost. Perchance He who 
has known the sting of disappointment — even the sinless One — 
may lean in the fellowship of kindred woe to me in the time 
that shall be appointed." 

I stood alone, save but that the prostrate form of Azta lay 
by me. And as, looking upon her, my anger softened, I raised 
her up and took her in my arms. 

" O my Love, how I love thee 1 " I cried, with intense passion. 

The woman wept and our tears mingled, terrible burning drops 
as of hot lava. 

"What can I say to thee?" she sobbed desperately. 

" Love, no word of thine could remove the dread fiat of sin," 
I said ; " nought now that thou couldst say might blot out the 

347 



ATLANTIS. 

past, the period of sin that has left its mark upon us both, nor 
bring back that which can never be restored. For even couldst 
thou love me now, yet couldst thou never restore the peace of 
mind that was aforetime, and the purity of the past before sin had 
passed over, nor fully remove all doubts which prey upon the soul." 

Azta wept in despair, and I could but love her for it, and 
spoke words to comfort her. 

" I know not what portends, yet know that whatever shall 
come, to thee am I ever true, and doubt not that I love thee 
more than my own immortal soul, O my fair Love. Too well 
I love thee, too well for both of us ; yet blame me not that 
my love is so great, for I will never leave thee. Though Earth 
shall consume in smoke, and the Heavens roll away and depart, 
yet where thou art there also am I ; and should aught perchance 
separate us I will wait for thee, through all the bitter pain of 
knowing that thou wouldst follow another, until haply we meet 
again. I live in Hell for thy sake, nor will I, craven, enter 
Heaven without thee. Kiss me, my dear Love, and let us not . 
spend the shortness of time in such sad misery." 

She lay back in my arms, regarding me with half-closed 
eyes, her hands clasping me. 

"How wonderful thou art!" she murmured. 

I kissed her fondly, and, embracing one another, we sat watching 
the strange sky. 

"Thou rememberest Susi, of the family of Noah ?" asked Azta. 

I bowed solemnly, for the fair woman ever appeared to me 
as an Angel of Earth. 

" That night of the earthquake she came to me and spoke 
in serious fashion, and her words have never left my mind. 
Surely thou weit also there 1 and thou didst mark the strange 
bird that sang by her?" 

" Aye, Beloved. Better had her words found good result, 
yet it is I which am to blame, and not thou. For behold in 
the youth Toltiah is the curse of Atlantis, and I, myself, have 
wrought this thing in the sight of Heaven." 

Azta was silent, horror-struck by her perception of things. 

" Yet." she said, slowly, as one who would persuade her 
conscience, " yet has he been in the companionship of righteous 



THE CURSE OF ATLANTIS. 

Noah and of his people, and thou, his father, art holy. What 
better examples could he have? For I, even I, am not as most." 

"Alas, poor Love," I answered her; "it is nought to do with 
example ; nor has example any power, methinks, save evil example. 
Yet if thou sowest tares, (and also if thou sowest them not,) 
tares arise in abundance, but the beauteous sartreels require a 
certain care, and also the roses, and even then they may never 
appear. But here it was the previous error that but reaped 
its sure harvest." 

Azta perceived as in the unravelling of a skein the process 
of sin, where a fallen Angel and a fallen mortal had raised a 
being who caused the nation to stray more than all the times 
before. She perceived approaching the vengeance of God upon 
the fearful mixture of the sins of mind and body, and simply 
and despairingly she said, " We have both erred." 

I answered not. I only drew her head on to my breast and 
in silence we sat down and looked forth upon the night. 



349 



CAP. V. 



THE SHAME OF ZUL. 



There came a day when by the advice of Amaziel and the 
command of Toltiah, nor less by their own fearful inclinations, 
the people of Zul propitiated the Lord of Light with gorgeous 
ceremonies, and word was sent to all the cities of the land to 
worship and seek atonement. Vast crowds gathered, and pallid 
eunuch priests and yellow-robed priestesses wound their way 
up Zul's dark height with humble mien and weird chants, 
followed by all the great ones of the city; such as could find 
no room upon the roofs crowding the courts and outlying^ 
pylons. From every temple arose the roll of gongs and drums, 
and tlironging myriads gathered in fear to try and propitiate 
the god to whom they believed they owed the terrors that 
beset them, carrying with them all manner of things for sacrifice. 

h>very person in the city came to swell the vast throng, 
wrapped up in warm garments to protect themselves from the 
passing downpours of hail that melted in pools among the 
ruined places ; and the gaily-clothed thousands stood in grim 
contrast to their estate, uneasy, as dire forebodings lay upon 
all, and a sense of the urgent need of a united propitiation that 
should ease them of the catastrophes that were befalling. 
Warriors, merchants, nobles, mothers with children, all gathered 
in hopeful concourse, gazing dismayed upon the ruins and 
shivering in the strange cold. Nevertheless, they cried aloud 
to the god, prostituting themselves before the hidden divinity 
in unseemliness and frenzied exhortation, and shrieking aloud 
for him to appear. They exposed their broad bosoms, gashing 
them with knives and spears and tearing them in bloody fur- 
rows with their own fingers, so that they were dreadful sights 
to behold, while with frantic cries the priests ran among 

350 



THE SHAME OF ZUL. 

them, horrible with self-inflicted wounds and far-streaming hair ; 
those with black robes exhorting the multitudes, gradually 
working themselves up to a like pitch of frenzy, to sacrifice, 
asking for children to be delivered up to them as ofierings 
to the god. 

An uproar broke forth continually, pierced by epileptic shrieks 
of some wretches in fits through excesses. With a loud rustling 
of garments and clang of armour the throngs fell upon their 
faces, as, outlined against the sky, Amaziel stretched his arms 
in supplication to the hidden Sun and invoked the deity. 

"Come forth!" he cried, "scatter the clouds which lie before 
thy face and shine upon thy servants. Behold the Earth stretches 
abroad her arms to thee her lord, eager for thine embrace, com- 
fortless without thy warmth, and atones to thee with great sacrifice." 

And all the priests at the sound of the drum shouted in a 
loud voice; "Hear, O Zul, and forsake not thine espoused 1" 

The victims emerged upon the platform, where stood the 
noblest of the land, and a long echoing shriek fell upon the 
ears of the nearer thousands as the first poor wretch was 
slaughtered and his heart upraised to the sky. Kas, a noble 
of the western side of the city, stepped forward and demanded 
to be sacrificed for the good of the land, and inflamed by his 
example others did likewise, among them being a priestess of 
Neptsis. The blood began to run in streams on the golden 
floor, and the worshippers smeared it upon their foreheads ; 
while, catching the awful frenzy of those above them, the crowds 
commenced to murder their mistresses and children, encouraged 
by the priests and magicians who ran like devils above their 
prostrate bodies, shrieking and exhorting. Alas, that beings of 
such intelligence and arts could fall to such as this 1 

Little children were disembowelled alive and passed into the 
abominable flame, their dismal cries and fainting screams of 
agony drowned by the loud chanting of the priestesses and 
the shrill voices of the eunuch priests. One of the furious 
women, foaming at the mouth and maddened by the spirit of 
sacrifice, suddenly shrieked aloud, and then stepping to the 
edge of the platform, cast herself headlong into space and was 
dashed to pieces upon the lowest roof. The High Priest foamed 

351 



ATLANTIS. 

likewise at the mouth, roUing his eyes and waving his arms, 
red with blood to the elbows, frantically in the air. 

Azta, standing in the midst of a group, among whom were 
also Toltiah, Nezca, Chanoc, Adar, Tua, Emarna and other 
great ones, watched with a slight sneer upon her face while 
the bloody work continued, frowning occasionally when some 
pretty chubby infant was murdered. Her heart felt very dark 
and evil ; more than all this wickedness was it evil. For on the 
part of those around her and of the crowds beneath it was but 
wild, unthinking wrong, while her heart spoke to her of delib- 
erate spiritual sin and a wantonly strangled conscience. 

A slight tremor shook the earth and a quavering moan of 
fear rose like a long muffled roll of thunder, echoing for miles 
from every quarter of the vast city. In the great spaces beneath 
the temple that weird cry of fright vibrated fearfully in the close 
atmosphere, rising and falling in mournful cadence, and by 
reason of the varying distances obtaining a marvellous effect. 

Amaziel brought out from the central tower the sacred symbol 
of Atlantis, the four-armed Cross, that had led the nation under 
great Tekthah to its victorious empire, and with a shout lifted 
it towards the sky. 

A deafening roar of mingled import reached him. There was 
horror and frenzied approbation in that assent of a nation that 
their symbol should be sacrificed, all who perceived knowing and 
understanding that by such thing a nation signified its surrender 
to a Divinity whose power they did not comprehend, and which, 
their suddenly-strung consciences told them, was not the God 
of their fathers. This was Devil-worship 1 But the hope of 
protection for the wicked present overcame every scruple, and 
also the knowledge of unstemable and unatonable sin made them 
turn for aid to the Divinity they had followed most. 

Therefore an echoing, approving shout bade the High Priest 
consummate the blasphemy, and in the blood-fed flame the 
symbol of a nation's victorious greatness was consumed in wicked 
sacrifice. 

And now it appeared that a great relief spread through their 
hearts, as having humbled themselves to the god and become 
his slaves they believed that they would be under his protection ; 

352 



THE SHAME OF ZUL. 

and even such as should have been instructed differently by 
the excellence of their minds, felt this consoling reflection. 

The reaction from fear to a feeling of security rendered the 
populace jubilant with a shameful joy. They need fear no 
lower fall, for there was none; and overcome by their acts 
they indulged in terrible excesses with an abandonment that 
was fearful in its lowest degradation. A very monster of crime 
brooded over the land, and those who had offered up tender 
babies with tortures too vile for utterance would scarce hesitate 
at aught. Incestuous beings, sunk beneath the level of brutes, 
cried their shame aloud, nor was any enormity too gross for 
them ; believing that by prostituting their souls and bodies they 
engendered a blood-alliance with the Sun, and rejoicing with a 
vast drunken pride in their shame. 

There was a great running to and fro, and much searching 
among debris for aught of value ; while stores of food- stuffs were 
sacked by hungry crowds, and there was no order at all. The 
people shouted continually, mocking the idols that had been 
shaken from walls and pedestals and heaping insults upon them ; 
and as with night great bonfires were ignited in the Market- 
place, they cast the graven figures thereon, howling with joy 
as the flames licked around the fat and oil soaked abominations- 
Having surrendered themselves to the Sun, they had no need 
of these deities, and cried out with glee and much mocking 
talk as explosions rent the grotesque figures, until the huge idol 
of Increase, a monstrous figure of obscenity, suddenly terrified 
them by emitting a volume of coloured flame from its jaws, 
whose beastly lips disclosed long pointed teeth. And, to terrify 
more the vile audience, an owl fell headlong into the flames 
and died in screeching torments; while from the terrible and 
blasphemous group of the Conception of Love sprang an ana- 
conda, a tempest of hisses sounding as it writhed with widely- 
distended jaws and popping eyes in the flames, revolving in 
swift coils and swishing like a Titanic whip among the embers 
from which it hurled burning spHnters and logs in all directions. 
Cries of fright arose as the onlookers fled in a dire panic, 
fearful of its onslaught; but it perished where it writhed, and 
such as worshipped serpents were greatly dismayed. From 

353 23 



ATLANTIS. 

all the idols came forth vermin in swarms, which had fattened 
upon the libations and offerings ; and great centipedes, scorpions 
and spiders dashed madly over the burning embers to fall and 
wriggle and leap, crackling and agonising, in the flames. 

But after a time any misgivings were lost in the frenzy of 
wine and excitement, as the deviHsh priests bade them fear 
only Zul. There were great vats full of wine placed at different 
spots, and from these the people drank, dancing and shouting 
and falling upon the ground. The gathering was the greater 
for the reason that many houses were untenable, and the level- 
ling influence of the terror and sacrifices caused many of the 
princes and nobles to mingle with the mad throngs of warriors, 
traders, merchants and women. These last were greater in number 
than the men, and being more abandoned increased the evil of 
all, flashing their wanton eyes among the dark masses of hair that 
in most instances, despite the cold, was their only protection 
from the lewd eyes that ever unsatisfied gazed upon them. 
Maddened by the whirling limbs, the glittering jewellery, the 
flash of arms and lenient presences of nobles, they abandoned 
themselves to every passing desire, fair fiends of darkness, 
urging and encouraging the men in all wickedness. 

Several died through excesses, crying blasphemies to the end 
in a fever of evil desire, and there were many furious brawls 
and murders. Bodies of armed men ran through the crowds, 
killing as many as they could, and so dreadful at length became 
the uproar that Nahuasco at the head of three legions attacked 
the debauchees, the warriors charging with a shout and deaHng 
heavy blows with spear-shafts in all directions, regardless of 
age and sex. 

Curses were showered upon them, and the newly-created 
Lord of Trocoatla was furiously assailed in turn, so that the 
riot became a pitched battle. But the veteran prevailed ; the 
crowds were broken up and dispersed, many people being 
wantonly pushed into the great fires and causing merriment to 
their murderers by the way they shrieked and plunged amidst 
the embers. 

Azta in a cynical rage had ordered this attack to be made, 
as she still remained upon the temple roof, ministered to by 

354 



THE SHAME OF ZUL. 

Amaziel. Now alone she stood, and far below upon the one hand 
was the moaning sea, upon the other the moving bonfire-lighted 
brawlers. Above, the low clouds rolled awfully in vast evolu- 
tions, and thunder, audible at intervals, sounded in sublime 
contrast to the howls and shrieks below that filled Azta's spirit 
with a great unrest to hear. Her eyes glowered red from her 
shadowy form, and were as lions' eyes in the dark, nought but 
two round discs of flame that looked out over the far crowds 
and flashed at the sounds of martial strife as Nahuasco dispersed 
them by violence. 

Below, the sound of the wind among the dead trees sounded 
Hke weeping voices, and the woman, gazing into the darker 
shadows of land and sky and sea, thought she perceived legions 
of dreadful figures and forms of monstrous shapes. To her 
came the horror of the central cavern where lay the Heart of 
the World as she watched them where weirdly they swayed 
and amalgamated, floating high above the Earth, their eyes, 
as saurians, filmy and vague, seeming to gaze towards her. 

Then the moon shone out, and as in a dread vision the 
forms changed into clouds, through which the scenery below 
showed as through a veil. The walls and towers and pylons of 
the palace sprang like unearthly monuments from the darkness, 
and all the vast architecture of the matchless city was visible in 
distance- fading array, wondrous and enormous. A sound smote the 
quick ear of Azta, and looking, she perceived a large dark crea- 
ture of hideous shape drag itself above the edge of the roof 
and advance towards her, the attenuated Hmbs scarce able to 
support its gross trunk. Exaggerated by the light to large 
dimensions, it gasped loudly with a whining cry, and scarce 
had it attained the roof than it appeared to give birth to an 
offspring with a diflficulty whose consummation was apparently 
fatal. 

Azta, disgusted, retreated to the farthest edge, watching with 
straining eyes the new creation, which, endowed with great 
vigour, rose up, and, growing visibly, displayed a monstrous form 
of indistinguishable hideousness. The woman gazed upon this 
terrific creature with a horrible curiosity, unable to define aught, 
and marking with disgust the hog-like yet half human gruntings, 

355 



ATLANTIS. 

while she now perceived the mother to be a large hound. But 
what the offspring was she could not see, and but entertained hor- 
rified suspicions of it, shuddering as the abortion stretched itself 
out with a hideous yell as though racked with pain, and then 
fell furiously upon the prostrate parent, biting and clawing at 
it and finally devouring it. 

Azta hid her face in horror and nausea, and the beast reared 
itself up and stood upon two legs, tearing at the bloody remains 
hanging from its jaws with claw-like hands. A great light caused 
her to look up, and she perceived a form of fire descend swiftly 
upon the lightning. From its outstretched hand flew a bolt that 
fell upon the dark horror, consuming it with a crackling sound 
until only a heap of ashes lay in its place. 

So bright was the splendid figure and so wondrous in its 
world of heavenly light, that, all the city perceiving it, the 
revels ceased in terror. Beneath its feet a cloud of intense 
blackness rolled, and its countenance was awful in stern majesty 
and displeasure, as with far-reaching arms spread abroad beneat^i 
two winged canopies of light illumining the sky even to the highest 
clouds, it hurled the swift lightnings from either hand, while 
crash on crash of thunder rolling from the depths shook the 
Earth to its deep foundations. 

A flash of light flew towards where Azta stood, consuming 
her garments in a breath, so that she stood out before the eyes 
of Heaven and of Earth naked but for the robe of glory that 
wrapped her perfect form in brilliant light. Thus she stood, in 
plain view of the amazed crowds, flawless and perfect, her hands 
crossed over her bosom in mute terror. And then a swift stroke 
blasted the ornament which upheld her massy hair, and with 
the shadowy fall of the tresses the light vanished and black 
night brooded in horror above the city. 



356 



CAP. VI. 



THE WAR OF THE SPIRIT, 



Invisible, I looked upon the Earth, rolling in far spaces; 
surveying the shadow world from the hot womb of the tropics 
to where the illuminate electricity floated in wavy bands above 
the poles and the mystic axis, oc I looked upon Atlantis, a 
torment of thought in my mind, as I felt the fever of unanswer- 
able riddles, and suffering that could not be analyzed ; the 
bitterness of self-inflicted torture and a terrible yearning for 
what could never be. Alone, in the Infinite, came to me sen- 
sations more than visions, of depths of shadow through which 
neither eye nor thought could pierce, and over all a dread 
feeling of remorse and hatred, and the ever-present embittering 
knowledge that although I suffered through my own fault yet 
also someone else had done it to me. Allured by the Earth 
and impregnated with its knowledge, pleasing yet dreadful to 
my clear perceptions, I rolled in the meshes that encompassed 
me about, yet would not cast them away. 

What joy the glories of the stars and deeps of ether when 
torture preyed upon the sleepless, deathless spirit ! The spirit 
destined to live for ever as its own bitter punishment, ever 

oc The ''aurora polaris" or "northern lights" are a manifestation of quiet 
electrical discharges round either pole, attaining its gi'eatest brilliancy and frequency 
near the magnetic poles, which are at some distance from the true geographical 
poles. 

It is believed that the aurora is a sheet of rays which converge downwards 
towards the magnetic axis of the Earth, a kind of luminous collar, the top of 
whose arch is as much as 130 miles above the Earth, though parts of it are 
l)elieved to be quite near the Earth. It is therefore an electrical discharge taking 
place in highly rarified air or vacuum. The aurora is certainly closely connected 
with the magnetic condition of the Earth and also of the Suu. When any great 
sun-spots appear on the latter orb, the magnetic balance of the Earth is affected, 
as shown by the irregular movements of the magnetic needles and the simultaneous 
appearance of aurora at both poles. D. Archibald, M..\., R.M.S. Lond. 

357 



ATLANTIS. 

craving and never satisfied ! The more the thoughts strove the 
more lost in inextricable problems they were, until the soul 
writhed in flame of agony that wrapped it in their fevered 
horror — the unquenchable fire of Hell. 

I considered the state of the fallen Ones and compared my 
ambition with theirs, I thought of them and of their conver- 
sation aforetimes, the pondering upon those shadowy vague 
ideas of some grand scheme whose glimmering beauties they 
thought they could perceive, and the power to execute which 
they believed themselves to possess : some grandeur that would 
have failed in detail and have collapsed of its unsupported 
vastness like a bubble of air. Now I perceived that splendour 
of detail, atom on atom perfectly formed, was necessary to 
greatness of structure and stability of immensity, the wonder of 
the infinitely tiny as of the infinitely great. 

Had I offended as they? I cried in my heart, No! yet I thought 
that perchance I unhappily had done so. Notwithstanding, a 
consciousness of reproachful emotions swept through my heari 
that could scarce be expressed even in thought. Why, in the 
ordering of things, was sin possible? How could it be that 
pure immortal beings like myself could sin? What was that 
wondrous instinct of Heaven, inherent by it of Earth, (the Life 
that was Love, the Love that was Life,) the instinct of Amalgama- 
tion that was pure and holy and could yet be sin? The 
meeting of extremes either of awful reverence or of an abo- 
mination of blasphemy? What was that tiny step that was an 
indescribable sensation dividing good from evil? 

Slipping into space I surveyed the Earth, perceiving there 
the Unity which was strength exhibited in mortal and tangible 
shape that lifted its thoughtless head among the mighty wonders 
of the Universe; and saw an instinct, like mine and my compeer's 
disastrous one, that aspired not so much for perpetuation of 
identity and addition of strength as the wish to perform some- 
thing new, a great thing of marvel, good or evil, to cause 
wondering of the soul ; unheeding that in holiness union streng- 
thens, while in evil it weakens. Therefore in their amalgama- 
tion was there sin, which was the sin of disobedience to the 
command that no farther enquiry than was permitted should 

35« 



THE WAR OF THE SPIRIT. 

be made into things, lest, knowing more, curiosity should lead 
on, unsatisfied, and if unchecked know no bounds to its en- 
quiries; and perceiving incomprehensible marvels retreat in 
panic and ruin, not comprehending, yet unable to forget what 
it had seen. Those fallen Ones by amalgamation sought to 
oppose a vast mind to the Creator, but they knew not of some 
tiny detail whose omission caused the whole fabric to fall, 
neither had they the courage of their daring convictions, being 
seized of a fatal doubt. 

O Azta, why did I so love thee? What was that feeling 
that bound my soul to thee, and what was it to me that thou 
wert female; I, a spirit? Save that through our sin came one 
who completed the ruin of Earth. I could not solve the wonder 
of it and my soul burned with fire; the dulness of Earth, 
clogging the deHcate perceptions, making me but see the bit- 
terness of the moment, as a mortal man sees. 

And then by me stood One looking with contempt upon my 
wringing of hands and groaning of spirit, upon whose porten- 
tious brows sat the old wisdom of the ages ; appalling in 
majesty, subHme in grandeur. 

"For why this softness, thou proud one?" he asked. 
. A tumult of feelings surged over me at the mocking ques- 
tion, which also said, "I am now thy equal and thou canst 
but answer me in such wise"; and in bitter irony I made reply: 

" Could I but answer thee, thy riddle would be solved." 

" Thou shalt never solve the riddle," answered the mighty 
Angel firmly; "in the ordering of Life there is no softness nor 
pity, else would all ,be confusion. The march of Progress must 
go on unflinching and unheeding, nor grieve that weakness fall 
in groans and anguish to form a bridge over which the strong 
ones of evolution pass to its continuance. Thus triumphed the 
Lord of Heaven over our confederate minds containing certain 
elements of a fatal weakness. Had all been as I, all had been well." 
And sternly he cast about his crystal orbs, whose vivid glances 
were as the lightnings ; vaunting before the worlds his dire intent. 

"Perchance thou art right," I answered sullenly, envying the 
pitiless beauty of my companion, the ascetic purity and in- 
flexible will that had made Heaven tremble ; the purity that 

359 



ATLANTIS; 

was as that of the iceberg, cold, hard, unheeding yet beautiful. 
I marvelled at the daring ambition that had made the name of 
Satan so dire a terror and a menace, and the control of all 
emotions that rendered him almost a rival to the Creator. 

"Yet," I said, thinking upon this wonder of a created being 
having been so created with danger therein, "thou wast formed 
as thou art and I was formed as 1 am. How can such sin, 
being created holy?" 

"We sinned not but by the sin of failure, my Asia," an- 
swered the Prince, looking fixedly upon me. 

"But had we not failed," I pursued, " what then, great Satan? 
Still must there have been things to cause pity and sorrow ; in 
our triumph would have been the defeat of another, and sorrow 
to us over the sorrow that it caused." 

" It is the voice of our failure that speaks, O Asia 1 " cried 
the Archangel: "what is sorrow and pain to the attainment of 
Perfection? It but helps the consummation, and should not 
hinder its march." 

"Yet how can there be aught but happiness proceed from 
the Omnipotent?" I asked desperately, knowing, notwithstanding, 
that sorrow was created and that this one must perforce defend 
such creation. " It fears me that Life holds such contradictions 
that none could reconcile but Him who rules the worlds, and 
a misjudged atom would cause the downfall of a vast fabric." 

" Sorrow strengthens and opens up yet more boundless realms 
of thought," answered Satan, "and to those whose wisdom is 
greater than thine are no contradictions in Life's ordering. But 
concerning the cause of sorrow, thou canst not fathom it; for 
behold, thou thyself wert sent in all compliance to do good, 
but in thyself thou hast sinned. Look upon the Earth and tell 
me for what are its mortal beings created? Thou canst not." 

I looked upon Mankind. I saw its children, born in sorrow, 
sinless save but by the sins of others, yet eagerly embracing 
frowardness as soon as the dreadful human nature overcame 
the spiritual. 

"Are they not but mortal?" he pursued; "and thou hast 
given thy love to one of such. Yield it up 1 In the contem- 
plation of a mortal is vexation, disappointment, and sadness, 

360 



THE WAR OF THE SPIRIT. 

but in the pursuit of great works is increasing joy and pride. 
Recall thine unrequited love and take thou peace of mind," 

" That will 1 never do 1 " I cried in agony and direful wrath. 
" Get thee hence, O Prince, nor seek to rob me of that drop of 
water that cools the tongue of Hell, and, given up, would leave 
me stranded and desperately evil beneath thy governance. I 
tell thee it shall yet be well ! and when the mortal atoms return 
again to whence they came my Love shall see how I have 
loved, and perchance in happier times we shall meet again 
before the Throne of Heaven and be forgiven the sin for my 
love's sake." 

And ah ! the glance that fell upon my spirit, as those eyes 
that had looked upon the face of God swept upon me with the 
cold fury of a wrath which would have blasted a lesser being. 
From his thigh flashed forth the desolating sword, falling amain 
upon me through the firmament, and rising in storms his rolling 
crest lowered above his buckler seven-fold and vast. But front 
to front in elemental war my unslung shield parried the thun- 
dering death, and rising high in the might of Heaven, though 
sadly dimmed, I cast upon the dread Prince the hissing horrors 
of my spear x to which the tallest tree of Earth was but as 
a splint of wood to itself. 

Through Heaven resounded the dreadful fall, as with shield and 
breast plate scarce hindering the bolt the might of Satan was 
lowered in reverberating overthrow. Yet rising in bristling dread 
and horror, he dashed upon me the circumference of the infernal 
buckler in thunder, whereof the sound filled all space with 
uproar, and from afar the lightnings hung upon his flashing 
sword that sought to bury me beneath its name of Havoc, as 
in gathering tempests it wheeled upon me. 

With rage o'ercoming fear flew forth my brand, and meeting 
the falling ruin in mid air the flaming sparks of light burst 
like a torrent of fire in the midst of the universe. The tower- 

X The description of this favorite weapon resembles that of Holy Scripture, 
where we hear of four sorts of spears. Chanith^ a spear of the largest size, held 
in the hand, and carried by Goliath and great warriors such as King Saul, capable 
of inflicting a fatal wound even with the butt-end (2 Sam. ii 23): Cidon, or 
javelin, carried upon the back when not in action : Romach^ a sort of lance: and 
Shelach^ a dart. 

361 



ATLANTIS. 



ing god rising high so that his impious crest touched Heaven, 
bore hard upon me. and buckler to buckler we stood with 




THE COLD FURY OF A WRATH WHICH WOULD :.]1AVE BLASTED. 



stubborn knees advanced, striving by might to obtain the 
other's downfall. Bearing the one upon the other in vast con- 

362 



THE WAR OF THE SPIRIT. 

vulsions we swayed, essaying by force of limb to gain the 
awful mastery, scattering the storms before our heaving breasts 
as we wrestled in level strife. As two great serpents fighting 
for mastery, full of fatal venom, so we entwined, watching the 
fortuitous moment for striking; when to me came the sudden 
knowledge that only my purity of intent, though so mistaken, 
permitted me thus to so formidably war, and I staggered beneath 
the thought. Then with a vast shout the Prince upreared his 
shadowy buckler, thinking to crush me beneath its torrential 
weight. Which nathless he had done but that I had seized 
his uncovered portion and cast him with dreadful violence upon 
his crest so that his arms rang out upon the plain and lay 
prone in dire disorder. 

Nor words can tell the rage that now filled the bosom of 
the fallen god 1 He roared, so that his roaring shook the skies, 
and, as world rushing upon world from its forsaken orbit, he 
bore full upon me. With foot advanced I stayed his onslaught, 
yet but for a space, and then, tottering beneath his might, I 
fell in my turn with crashing ruin, so that one half of the stars 
were hidden for a while. But rising with renewed force, I stood 
against him, marvelling that so I was enabled ; and in furious 
seizure we wrestled, now heaving up, now sinking, rolling in 
panting fury and wavering mastery, now upon a knee casting 
thunders afar, now locked in horrid expectancy. 

And the noise of our strife shook Heaven, so that He whom 
men call Michael, Captain of the hosts of God, came upon us 
who warred so furiously and bade us cease, having with him a 
shining guard. And looking up, the courts of Heaven opened 
before me, the flaming galleries which rested upon space stretch- 
ing in their awful glory beyond vision, court beyond court, 
tower above tower, brightness upon brightness. The walls of 
amethyst and crystal lay down the slopes of ether to the far 
pylons radiant with heavenly hosts, and the steps of light 
swept as a bright vision up under the golden shade of columns 
whose feet rested on Eternity, supporting the shadowy domes 
of the celestial abodes of which none can adequately tell. 
Beyond idea or remembrance lay the streets of light, and glory 
upon glory rolled in magnificence beyond all thought to imagine. 

363 



ATLANTIS. 

Above the reach of Angel's visions rose that dream of bewil- 
dering loveliness where flames sprang into form and shape and 
were reflected in wonder in seas and lakes of translucent ether, 
rolling in their calm beauty to still more beautiful horizons and 
undreamed-of pleasures. A Life, One, yet separable into tiniest 
atoms, was the whole of thought, of sensation and of vision ; 
and a glory of the knowledge of it, filling all hope and desire 
with enravished ecstasy that could rise for ever and never reach 
a limit. And therein dwelt the Glory of the Universe, the Lord 
of Mysteries, of the Name which cannot be uttered, the Splendour 
of Eternity ; before Whom countless worlds ministered, and 
flaming Spirits, winged with all knowledge, bowed in adoration. 
And there, before the awful purity of my adored Creator and 
the sweet pity of ineffable love, I bowed in shame, and burn- 
ing shame, and my heart melted before the Glory that once 
it was my dearest pleasure to contemplate. 

And there was silence in Heaven. Through all the vast ex- 
panses not a sound ruffled the awful stillness that lowered before, 
the frown of God. But one long look of longing rage my 
erstwhile opponent cast upon that bright vision, and then with 
routed arms fled as a dark thought flies before the smile of joy. 
But I, abashed and irresolute, stayed in my place before the 
Presence of Him who cannot be named, the Spirit of the Heart 
of Flame, nor dared to raise my eyes to the Holiness ; for the 
shadow of my blighted love lay upon my soul in black despair, 
and within my memory, graven in letters of fire as a punishment 
to me and a condemnation of myself, were the words — the 
words spoken by her at that first meeting — " I came not to thee." 

Reproach and shame swept over my soul, and my eyes closed 
with torment. A sweat which was as of burning drops of fire 
rolled from me to stand thus before the eye of Heaven, and 
though my heart cried : " I dare to confront Thee though Thou 
blast me, purified by the suffering that I undergo, and spurn- 
ing immortality that is full of horror," nevertheless I said it 
not, neither could I speak there. 

And certain enquiries were made concerning me, and the 
voice of WAEF, the accuser, said, ''This is Asia;" and I 
waited in terror to hear more. 

3^4 



THE WAK ()]• Till". SI'IKir. 

And a voice, more sweet than the music of countless liarps, said : 

"And thou also, lk4oved?" 

Whereat my soul fainted with sorrow, and I wept with un- 
utterable sadness that I had so i;rievcd the Heart of Love: 
upon my knees doini;- homage to the Throne. 




YET WOULD I NOT RELINQUISH MY LOVE. 



i'\nd a<^ain the voice spake, filling- all space with soni^, and 
fallini;' with thrilling mournfulness upon my respectful ear. 

^'ct ill would it become me to speak of the communications 
of Spirits; for thtxse things which are rather expressed in silence 
of subtle understanding which is neither of the human heart 
or brain, it is not tlccent to frame in speech. 

And how canst thou comprehend God, () man! Thou who 



ATLANTIS. 

doth not know nor understand thy fellow-man, which is mani- 
fested in human form before thee? 

Thus in silence I stood to plead for my Love and excuse 
myself with bowed head and downcast eyes before Mercy and 
Comprehension. No words would have excused as that mute 
eloquence, no impassioned gestures have pleaded as that bowed 
head ; yet I argued an impossibility ; and in the midst of that 
Heaven, my home, I remembered my love to that mortal being 
and would not relinquish it. 

Consumed in flames that purified and purged all evil, the 
spirit writhed with moaning anguish in deathless and hopeless 
torment, with quivering lips that disdained to cry for palliation 
for self. With a heart throbbing with tortures, and desperate 
hands wrung in despair, I lay before the face of Heaven and 
cursed all things with a hatred that fed on itself, blinded, deliri- 
ous and suffering, tossing in fevered horror with dry lips that 
cried, and cried in agony, in their unconscious woe, for a little 
mercy, a little palliation, as the awfulness deadened the prid^ 
at length. 

Yet would I not relinquish my Love. 



3^6 



CAP. VII. 



THE LEAVEN OF SIN. 



In Earthly solitudes I wandered inconsolable, always not very 
far from Zul ; and sitting down one night, I buried my head 
within my arms and thought. Sure here all was fair, yet there 
hung a menace in the atmosphere as amid tumultuous clouds 
behind a veil of lava-dust the sun set red, and raising my 
countenance I gazed upon the scene. 

It was tinted with crimson, as though the wantonly-shed blood 
of Man lay there upon it, and among the thick growth of dead 
flowers and ferns and stately trees crowding in their luxuriant 
array yet brown and pinched by the cold winds, rose tall 
broken columns and piles of scattered masonry, thrown thus by 
earthquakes and the hand of Man. There were bones and 
skeletons and all the wreck of households from which rose 
in shattered fragments those dreadful idols that were ever 
apparent. 

Presently the moon arose, a vast angry globe of light among 
the massy clouds; and moving through trees and dead palms 
that once shaded the ruined courts with grateful coolness, I 
presently arrived upon a river, edged by graceful willows and 
whispering rushes, whose waters the rocks and masonry fretted into 
silver, where fish leaped and enormous saurians breathed with 
their nostrils just above water — their long, slimy bodies lying 
on submerged wreckage. 

Upon the farther bank two tall figures sat upon pedestals, as 
brooding over the scene, which was soothing to my spirit lying 
in ruins like those buried steps and temples. In quiet majesty 
they sat above their dead, unhurt by the ruin that had spread 
over the hither city, and there was no man to disturb them; 
but their heads were the heads of eagles which lifted themselves 

367 



ATLANTIS. 

to Heaven, and there was in their expression that gazing beyond 
the Earth which all of the statues had. 

Fhtting shadows began to move about frequently, caused by 
beasts of pre}' which searched among the ruins for food and 
at times uttered hideous cries, and bats of large wing flitting 
with gleaming eyes like coals of fire. Serpents crawled over the 
blocks of masonry and piles of bones, anacondas dragging their 
yellow length of columnar body from buried vaults and damp 
courts hidden beneath withered vegetable luxuriance, where also 
rats and vermin lived in myriads, and upon branches of trees 
and tall cross-beams sat rows of roosting vultures. 

Thus lay Chuza. And crowning her high places stood the 
shadowy figure of a very large lion, motionless and terrific, 
watching a moving shape that hovered among the shadows and 
paused among a row of columns that marked the outer court 
of the temple dedicated aforetimes to the river-god Nop. In 
a little while I perceived, despite the grotesque outlines of furry 
ears and swinging claw-fringed flaps, the splendid carriage an<4, 
presence of the masterpiece of God : Man. It was Ham, the 
son of Noah. 

Without any signs of fear the monarchs of men and beasts 
gazed the one upon the other, and then the lion turned slowly 
away and disappeared among the tangle of bush, fern and ruins. 

A mass of clouds, tinged with the red of volcanic furies, 
were creeping up over the moon. Because of Chuza lying in a 
valley the farther mountains could not be perceived, but the fires 
threw their weird light on the high clouds, reflected afar, and the 
Earth took a certain crimson tint by reason of them. The tall 
warrior, holding a spear, came forth and stood upon a crumble 
of steps from which he looked long over the shadows as though 
expectant of something, surveying with close scrutiny every 
point. A long shadow flowed over the heaps from behind him 
as he thus stood, and he looked round swiftly to learn the 
reason of it, fearing the attack of some beast of prey. 

It was a woman who approached, of tall stature and majestic 
carriage, with flashing ornaments and costly robes of civilization. 

"The moon has passed," she said chidingly, pointing to the 
orb of bright light. 

368 



THE r.EAVEN OF SiN. 

Ham laughed with ironical humour. " 'Tis a new thing for 
the Lady Emarna to reprove her faithful lover 1" he cried 
gaily, tossing back the skull-covering from his massy curls, his 
large brilliant eyes rolling as the light of the moon flashed on 
their whites, and his arm revealing all its mighty muscles by 
the action. 

" Would that I could say 'tis a new thing for the lord Ham 
to forget his tryst," she answered a little sadly, shivering 
with cold. 

"Peace, woman!" he cried, seizing her and pressing her to 
his bosom and kissing roughly her full lips so that his teeth 
clashed against the jewels in her own and she cried for mercy. 
"Art satisfied? What would the old ones say, and Ru?" 

Emarna frowned at the mention of his wife's name. " Nought 
matters to thee," she said, annoyed. 

Ham laughed, yet somewhat crestfallen. "And thou hast 
come alone to see me, how I have fallen from a lord of Zul 
to the follower of a mad old man? Though of a truth," he 
said more solemnly, " there is a method in the madness of the 
old one, my father," 

" I have come alone to see thee because of the love I bear 
thee," answered Emarna, " and in my heart is a great fear by 
reason of many things." 

"Hast seen aught of signs in the heavens, and wonders?" 
enquired the swarth giant, with a certain fear in his voice. 

The woman glanced up in apprehension at the masses of 
clouds that were lowering about the moon. "There have been 
days of terror in Zul, and the face of the Sun is hidden ; by 
reason of which the altars of all the temples run with the blood 
of endless sacrifices, yet the cold wind breathes with the whisper 
of doom, and the flocks and herds are perishing so that there is 
but little to eat. Even Huitza is moved and Azta is distressed, 
and there are those who would fain lay hands upon Noah and 
you, his sons, because of a rumour that 'tis Susi who caused 
these things on account of a foolish act of Huitza." 

"Let Huitza beware!" cried Ham: "let the shade of Maxo 
the Archer whisper in the ear of the foolish one." For Maxo 
had secretly disappeared when the army marched upon Zul 

369 24 



ATLANTIS. 

and lay inactive upon tiie banks of the Hilen, being slain by 
Ham for an insult. 

"Nay, he did her nought of harm," said Emarna; "the gods 
delivered her and have never ceased to trouble the people. 
Principally have I come to warn thee of the wrath of Huitza. 
Yet did not the old Noah say he was not Huitza as all believe?" 

The giant laughed grimly, shaking his spear in the air. 

"He is not Huitza!" he cried. "Spawn of a Devil is he, 
begotten of Azta, and nourished up among us to this end of 
evil!" He laughed wildly, not guessing how near the truth 
he was; and seizing Emarna rudely, tossed her up as though 
she had been an infant, dandling her in his arms, while the 
whites of his eyes and his teeth gleamed in his dark face shaded 
by black masses of hair. 

"Thus would I serve thy warriors, soft mistress!" he cried, 
"but I should not catch them. Nay, by the truth of God! I 
would cast them down in such wise that they would not want 
to rise again." , 

Emarna was frightened by his mood, but presently he placed 
her down and demanded to be told more of what transpired 
in Zul, enquiring after many of the queens and how they fared. 
Yet there was not much to be told that he did not know, save 
that there was a great uneasiness beginning to be felt at the 
mortality among the herds and the lack of game animals, which 
the hunters said were emigrating to the west for some unknown 
reason. 

The clouds covered the moon and the pair entered one of 
the deserted mansions lying in ruins, a broken battering engine 
stretching with swinging thongs, like a limbless misshapen mon- 
ster, across the debris. The warrior spread his bear-skin mantle 
upon the mossy flooring and they reclined upon it, after assuring 
themselves that no animals were there in hiding. And now the 
man assumed a more lover-like attitude which pleased the queen 
better, modulating his loud rude voice to melodious speech ; 
and vowing he loved her above all other women, promised to 
do whatsoever she might ask of him. 

With soft caresses she listened, charming his senses by her 
beauty and compliance and enwrapping his moral nature as a 

370 



THE LEAVEN OF SlN. 

serpent, reversing their physical strength with the subtle tact of 
a woman, and while ministering to his pleasures enslaving his 
regards. No thought of sin restrained the dark chief, no warning 
through the woes of others ; in enjoyment of the moment he 
disregarded the teachings of his sire, esteeming himself suflfi- 
ciently dutiful to have left the capital and his high honours at 
his command, neither having indulged in its pleasures as deeply 
as he might have done. Perchance the memory of Ru, his 
faithful spouse- and mother of his children, at times crossed his 
mind trained in the ways of righteousness, but did not check 
the enjoyment of Emarna's wanton caresses nor interfere with 
her subtle conquest. Well was it for him that unsullied lips 
presented his name before the Throne of God, and faithful 
hearts, believing him as sinless as themselves, trusted in Heaven 
to preserve all their little family. 

Emarna made her request, which was that she might follow 
her lord whithersoever he might go : and the warrior joyfully 
acceded to it, being in soft mood. These mortals heard not 
the warning note in the chirrup of beetles among the ruins, nor 
did the voice of the frogs perched upon half-submerged masses 
by the river sound in other than its accustomed wont. The 
Hon, afar, shook the atmosphere with the deep thunder of his 
roar, but the hunter slept with his mistress in his arms, snoring 
loudly. 

And upon them I cast dreams and visions, and behold it 
appeared to the warrior that in Zul he entered the Hall of the 
Throne of Atlantis and prepared to climb to the seat. But 
there sat a figure with hand outstretched against him, and the 
face was that of the Accuser. A feeling of anger sprang up 
within his heart at the opposition, and then he perceived that 
from every brazier sprang up a winged figure and each one 
with opposing hand bade him desist from his attempt to mount 
the central steps, while WAEF spake thus : 

" Thou hast sinned and sin yet : begone and beware ! " 

And then came thick darkness through which arose the sound 
of flowing waves, and a wind, cold and spray-laden, swept upon 
him. Upon an ocean the dawn arose, and on a rock he stood 
alone in the midst of the waters. 

17^ 



ATLANTIS. 

And then a feeling of terror came upon my own soul as I 
perceived my power of weaving the dream to pass from me. 
Yet I perceived how that a voice arose from the waves to his 
ears and also to my heart. It was soft and sweet and unutter- 
ably sad, as only perception of the soul aiding the ear could 
make it. 

"O Love," it seemed to say, "all is dead, but love remains. 
And thou must go and forget, and love must stay and remember, 
for ever and for ever. Yet if haply my voice shall speak from 
the old days to thy soul, think not hardly of thy Love, for 
punishment shall wipe out the sin and purge the crime. Go, 
while I have the strength of mind to bid thee go ! And beware 1 " 

The voice came from the waves, yet nought was visible. 
Amazed, the man looked around. "How can I go?" he said. 

Then before him swam the Mexiah, as a saviour upon the 
face of the waters; and, as awaking, he perceived the Sun to 
rise over a snowy land of forests and mountains, in the midst 
of heavy storm-clouds, wakening also the world with its liff 
and tinting beauteously the high points. Soon the lower lands 
would catch the glow and all would be bright. The warrior 
rose up upon his elbow and shivered by reason of many things, 
looking to where Emarna slept, her brown bosom rising and 
falling regularly under her breathing. His heart being tender 
with love for her, he stooped and kissed her lips, sensuously 
beautiful and full in their soft curves, and smiling in her sleep 
she exposed her gemmy teeth. Yet even as she smiled a sob 
arose in her throat, and opening her eyes which were very 
large and brown, she sought for her lord where he leaned upon 
his elbow regarding her curiously, and much tossed in his mind 
concerning her. 

"I have dreamed a strange dream," she said, turning and 
leaning upon her elbows while the shadows of sleep lay within 
her eyes. "I am disturbed because of it, my Love, for in a 
vision I saw thee so tall and beautiful, and one came between 
us and bade me depart and leave thee." 

Her voice rang deep with anguish and her bosom heaved. 
She fell upon her side, clasping her breast, the tears gathering 
in her eyes and sobs choking her voice. 

372 



THE LEAVEN OF SIN. 

"How can I go, and forget my Love?" she cried; "what 
when the darkness of night shall come and I shall stretch abroad 
my hands to find him and he is not there 1 Cannot thy God 
by my God, and may I not follow thee? How can the world 
live without the Sun, and how can the desolate heart live 
without the love that bade it rise and look upon lifer" 

She turned to Ham, where he sat frowning and plucking at 
the fur of the mantle. "Thou art here now, my heart," she 
whispered, pitifully touching his garment, "but what when thou 
art gone? Wilt thou remember Emarna and of how she left 
all to follow thee? How she cherished thee on her bosom and 
braided thy hair? Wilt thou think, when thou meetest thy 
espoused wife, of another who loves thee more, and will die 
when thou art goner" 

The man groaned and sank his head. " Thou dost not un- 
derstand; thou wilt be happier in Zul," he said. 

"I cannot return thither," she said in a despairing whisper; 
and then as the knowledge of his feelings came to her sad 
heart she fell in a sudden swoon and lay as one dead. 

For thus is love, that knows that no return can be forced, 
and dies at the thought of its self-raised horrors. 

The warrior arose and looked upon her pityingly. He lifted 
his spear and turned away, slowly moving forth into the light 
of the day and disappearing with but one backward glance over 
the frosty ruins. 

And I wept that such sad woe should be able to be caused 
by so worthless an object. 



373 



CAP. VIII. 

THE ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE. 

How changed now was that Zul from when I first beheld 
her greatness ! The bright days had changed to gloom and 
terror, the starry nights to dark periods of cold and horror and 
dreadful manifestations, where meteors flew through lurid clouds, 
with loud explosions. Her palmy courts were covered in debris 
and ashes, and her pleasant fountains ceased to sound their 
music upon the air : the roses and the water-lilies were dead. 
In ruin lay her palaces and temples, and fallen were statues 
and columns and shady colonnades, burying many in suffoca- 
ting death. - 

Everything appeared to have been broken up and a dread 
period of alteration to be impending, wherein lives of terror 
ended in violent death, nor were there any more services to 
any gods. Water from broken cisterns ran down the terraces 
and lay in every hollow, hidden under floating coverlets of 
black dust covering the putrefying bodies of men and animals. 
Many layed violent hands upon themselves to escape the fear 
of unknown terrors, a frenzy occasionally shaking the populace 
and a depth of despair as all means of atonement failed. 
There was a terrible scarcity of food, and half-starved creatures, 
naked and wet, gazed with listless foolishness upon the ruins 
around or fought for scraps of offal ; and in the black pools 
starving children waged war with dogs and vultures for the 
carrion remains. Some killed and ate the beasts themselves, 
and the more abandoned kidnapped children and devoured 
them. Even now were there reckless ones who took advantage 
of the terrors to their own advance, entering mansions and 
palaces, stealing riches and abducting women whom they after- 
wards murdered, and, sitting upon piles of ruins, cast the dice 
for division of spoils. 

374 



THE ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE. 

Couldst thou have but seen this thy night of desolation, O 
Last-created Manl The darkness that overpoured in horror, 
the famine and the earthquakes, the wreck of proud buildings 
reaching to Heaven! The domestic animals had all perished 
of divers diseases, and the hunters of meat, not finding more 
than was sufficient for their own needs, did but lessen the small 
supply ; and the fruitful sea now swarmed with sharks and 
terrible monsters, so that the warships had to become fishing 
boats after many deaths and disasters in the small vessels. 
For even a large raft had been capsized and its crew dragged 
down by a beast with arms like serpents, so that the fishers 
on the large warships were uneasy, nor made any great catches, 
while to increase their fears a most supernatural monster was 
reputed to be frequently seen in the deep waters off Astra. 
At times it basked on the surface of the waves, and anon it 
dived beneath them with a storm of waters round it, and leaving 
an eddy that would sink the Tacoatlanta. In shallow water 
by Zul it stranded, and awe-struck crowds watched it making 
vast efforts to regain the deeps, noting its shape which was 
equally saurian, cetacean and serpent. 

The ships remained in the harbour, moored to the waterway, 
none daring to venture out. No fish save sharks could.be 
obtained, and many people driven by hunger to forsake their 
congregations, wandered over the land in search of food, and 
because of its scarcity and their inexperience in its obtainment, 
perished. And beasts of prey and such as fed upon flesh came 
to devour them ; and now within sight of the erstwhile proud 
walls ran lions and hyaenas and a great number of wolves. 

The people, terrified at their own fearful blasphemies and 
deeds that, aspiring to Heaven, were now confronted by Heavenly 
weapons, degraded, enfeebled and even shocked, were silent 
and full of despair. They were but human after all, arid 
famine, disease and enfeebled constitutions carried them off to 
regions that they had been trained to believe were governed 
by a cow, or a serpent, or some horrible malformation, in- 
spiring incredulity as to possibility and a chaos of feelings as 
they found they really believed in nothing. 

Another earthquake came, destroying the southern fortifi- 

375 



ATLANTIS. 

cations and burying many people under falling masses and in 
opening chasms. Azta, from the palace, saw the mansions and 
temples heave, separate, and fall crashing in a thunder of noise, 
enveloped in clouds of smoke and dust, and although her heart 
beat wildly, yet it was with a curious feeling of carelessness 
that she heard the loud explosions and crashes and the whirl- 
wind of shrieks and cries. A wave of water leaped from the 
earth, scattering the smoky clouds and impregnated with their 
atoms, to fall with a swish and roar, rebounding in resistless 
waves in all directions. The earth rocked, and the advancing 
upheaval passed between the palace and the higher terrace 
on which the crowning temple stood. 

The Queen leaned against a statue, and, gazing with dilating 
eyes upon the approaching terror, perceived the ground open 
horribly with a rending sound, and felt with a creeping of the 
skin a suction of air as a draughty rush of atmosphere followed 
the opening of the chasm. She saw, with a whirl of giddiness, 
the vast mass of the temple shaken as by a mighty hand, an^J 
a wind-blown echo of a shriek was borne to her ears on a 
violent gust that sent her hair and garments streaming out and 
the fire from the tottering tower flying in showers, leaving but 
one small brand waving in the sudden tempest, extinguished 
but to leap up again. 

Toltiah strode forth on to the terrace, followed hastily by 
several favorites and ladies, while from every opening streamed 
forth terrified menials. The Tzan cast a startled glance at 
the great chasm, gazing on the temple that leaned horribly 
towards them from a reversing convulsion of the earth. As 
he perceived the one little flame a frightful sneer overspread 
his features, and. turning, he placed the heel of his sandal upon 
a smoking brand that had fallen from the tower, scattering the 
dust disdainfully in the face of the Heavens with a loud and 
scornful laugh. 

A beautiful black-eyed boy clung to his arm and endeavoured 
to restrain him. His face of deadly whiteness ashen to the 
lips made his great frightened eyes stand forth the more con- 
spicuously, and the masses of ebon hair framing his face ap- 
peared oppressive in their heavy contrast. 

1>7^ 



THE ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE. 

Azta's fiery glance flitted over the boy and rested with a 
piercing look upon Toltiah. 

"Fool!" she said, in a deep, terrible voice; and the chief 
turned, and dragging after him the black-haired boy, re-entered 
the palace. 

And Amaziel the high Priest was in the temple before the 
earthquake shook it, with him being also that Mah, who, in the 
person of a slave-dealer, had wrought much confusion with his 
women by leading astray the minds of the men through them. 

They spake together slowly and in fear because of the ap- 
proaching horrors, not knowing yet what form they would take 
or what should happen to themselves. For having taken on so 
substantially an Earthly form, each was in a measure greater 
or less bound to the Earth and subject to what should befall 
it, which was a great fear to them. 

"Too far have we provoked Heaven," said Amaziel, which 
was Leira ; " and now comes crushing defeat that shall sweep 
us for ever from the Earth. For now is the time accomplished, 
and now enter the Worlds of fate upon the final revolution of 
doom, and for a space is a dread crisis hovering over all life, 
the which shall go hard with us. In the revolutions of Uranus 
our doom is written, and in the Heavens is hung the Balance." 

And Mah, which was also Pholia, a Spirit of small power in 
Heaven, was greatly terrified, crying aloud : " Behold, what shall 
come to me for the evil which I have wrought!" But Leira 
sneered upon him in scorn. 

"O brave to sin," he cried, "whence come these tears? 
Thou who hast laughed at the woes of others weep now at 
thine own. Shame upon thee, craven Spirit ! Who inflicts 
should at least be silent at like infliction, nor cower before the 
Inevitable which cannot be avoided." 

And Pholia turned upon him in rage, crying : " Thou art to 
blame for that thou didst lead me and instruct me in all the 
ways of evil I And now thou but smilest upon me and utterest 
platitudes instead of extending aid!" 

But Leira answered not. With folded arms he stood gazing 
upon the walls of the chamber and the mystic courts beyond 
with a dreadful scorn upon his lips. There was triumph in his 

377 



ATLANTIS. 

countenance and a certain sorrow, and after standing thus for 
some while he threw abroad his arms, and with a strange look 
upon his face turned his gaze upon all around. 

"I go," he said; "fare thee well and hasten thy flight, for 
now is the time come." 

As with one great stride he reached the central space that 
led downwards to the mystic Fourth chamber, the earthquake 
shook the temple. A gust of luminous wind sprang up from 
the opening, enveloping him, and the fleshly Spirit writhed and 
would have perchance turned ; but Shapes of flame seized him, 
and he passed down and I saw him no more. 

And from that place of echoes rolled up a strange murmur 
that filled all space with sound as of the humming of count- 
less bees, while the symbols on the sides of the chamber of 
Leira ran together tumultuously as the walls swayed above the 
earth movement. The obsidian mirror flew into sparkling frag- 
ments and spHnters, and upon the brazier a cloud arose in 
which writhed some horror with life and movement. Dull sounds , 
filled the place, the noise of falling ruins mingling with the faint 
murmur of a mighty concourse of people, and great pufls of 
dust and smoke filled the chamber, blown from outer courts, 
as in that terrific movement fell column and colossi, and bulging 
floors permitted the walls to fall inward. 

And ah, what fearful things were revealed, coming from 
hidden places, which were the handiwork and experiments of 
Leira 1 Misshapen horrors of some unknown life, monstrous 
births of Devils mouthing in sightless misery as an instinct of 
doom fell upon them, dusty, mangled, half-crushed and terrified, 
crying with strange sounds and wriggling in painful movements. 
The whole building was full of cries and sounds of the earth- 
quake, and Pholia, huge of form and trembling from his wide 
shoulders to his shaking knees, stood with bursting eyes gazing 
into infinity. With his fingers he tore his cheeks and shoulders 
as though to strip away the hateful flesh that he could not 
control, and, half as in a vision and half in tangible form, writhing 
upon the floor, strove with great throes to cast from himself 
the carnal atoms, that he might fly. Dread sight where flesh and 
spirit fought with hands that forgot their cunning and beat the 

37« 



THE ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE. 

barrier that lay intangible but potential above the hidden bolts 
of Life I 

In a great light a figure entered, grand and terrible ; one of 
the armed Seraphim, glowing as a rosy flame, having a drawn 
sword in his hand and a buckler upon his arm. Before whom 
the writhing Demon leaped up, fleeing upward to the highest 




WITH BURSTING EYES GAZING INTO INFINITY. 



roof in swift flight, and being smitten there, falling. In sight 
of the people the carnal figure flashed downwards into space, 
striking upon the terrace below, which sloped earthwards by 
reason of the mass being slanted, and bounding off" with a 
spatter of blood clear beyond the building down to the yawning 
chasm beneath. 

379 



ATLANTIS. 

But the Spirit fled, pursued by the Seraph, which had order 
to bind such ; and as a wind-blown wraith before the sword 
of flame he went, casting over in his hasty mind what he 
should do. And in dark places among weeds and short trees 
grew strange plants, into one of which he entered, hoping thus 
to escape; but the swift pursuer espied by how he entered the 
plant, and bound him therein until certain revolutions and a 
cycle of revolutions had passed. 



380 



CAP. IX. 



THE SCORPION WHIPS OF GOD. 



There were riots in the city and dreadful scenes, as deserted 
by the priests (many of which being removed as PhoHa): and 
with none to direct them, the people became as wild beasts, 
panic-stricken and starving. P'or all the granaries and all food 
stores had been seized and reserved for the army and the palace, 
the mass of the people being commanded to seek their own 
sustenance. And in the great trouble many in authority en- 
riched themselves by secretly bartering food for much wealth 
against the times when the trouble should have passed ; and 
the slave-dealers received many beauteous girls who gave them- 
selves up to them in order to be fed and to escape from the 
cold. But by reason of the famine and all the animals having 
at last been devoured, it became usual to eat human flesh, 
notwithstanding that some of the bolder ones preferred to 
wander without the walls and wage war with the ferocious 
beasts, feeding their stomachs upon the flesh of lions and wolves. 
Yet even these disappeared, and in a deserted land the half- 
ruined city lay beneath a direful canopy of gloom, enfeebled 
and dying of its own inflicted horrors. 

From wantonness mobs sacked the Bazaar and loaded them- 
selves with all manner of ornaments and jewellery, although 
the merchants had hidden much of their wares in fear of such 
attacks ; but many of them, while covering their shrunken bodies 
with robes of splendour and adorning their limbs with all that 
the Earth could produce of flashing gems, sank down and 
moaned, being seized in the intestines of a vile cramp whereby 
they gnawed their flesh and all things of leather until such also 
were gone. 

The desolation was dreadful, but the moral condition of the 

381 



ATLANTIS. 

people was worse ; and nothing was left now to fly to for pro- 
tection from the terrors that devastated the land. All in 
authority appeared equally helpless, and only once of late had 
Azta's slung coach passed before their eyes, moving at a swift 
pace with drawn curtains, its guards not daring now to wan- 
tonly interfere with the dreadful creatures who sat stark and 
starving, glaring upon their full persons with the lust of hungry 
lions. There was no wine in which their misery could be 
drowned, and silent groups sat in terror and only shuddered 
when the earth shook, dying in the fatal cold of the nights. 

Their numbers were augmented by discharged domestics and 
slaves, as the nobles found themselves unwilling to endanger 
themselves by feeding useless mouths; and these unfortunate 
people, being fat, and also by reason of remembrance of past 
arrogance, were killed and eaten. And this hostile feeling was 
also extended to such of the nobles themselves who were not 
too powerful, and at times the passage of such was violently 
obstructed; while a madman attacked furiously the Lord Nezca,, 
only being struck down when he had killed two of the guards. 

Having commenced such outrages, the starving populace 
turned with fury upon their superiors, accusing them of causing 
their miseries and forgetful of their own evil. Leaders arose 
among them, principally of those who had been cast forth 
from great establishments and knew of stores of hidden pro- 
vender, stirring them up to sack the palaces of the nobles. 

Even those at the Red palace became alarmed at the aspect 
of the people, who also were taught that the gods required 
the death of the mighty ones of Zul which had grievously 
sinned against them. In dreadful swarms they surrounded the 
more isolated mansions and entered them by storm, sacking 
them and compeUing their inmates to disclose where food was 
hidden; jeering with brutal taunts at the plump beauty of high- 
born ladies dragged before their dreadful ranks in whom no 
passion but for food was left. Little fat babies were instantly 
slaughtered by the ravening multitudes and devoured in their 
blood, and older children also; but this dreadful food (they 
being unused to it) brought on diseases and death. 

And particularly the indignation of the people burst furiously 

382 



THE SCORPION WHIPS OF GOD. 

upon the slave-dealers, who were of noble rank and great 
influence; both because they remembered how many of their 
young girls were abducted by them in past days for the palaces 
of the great, and because now they must of necessity have 
good store of food for those they now possessed, notwith- 
standing that they had cast forth many as others had their 
servants. Therefore great crowds assailed their establishments, 
and dragging forth the lords stoned them to death with the 
ready missiles of the debris. Their splendid apartments were 
wrecked and the ornaments and valuables scattered broadcast 
over the mob, while the women were brought forth for blood- 
shot eyes to glare ferociously upon, and scan with lewd pleasure 
their rounded and exposed beauties. Upon these unfortunates 
the women of the crowd hurled vile abuse and pitiless mockeries 
that were not lessened by the beauty and plump appearance 
of the tender creatures thus dragged from their luxury and 
plenty. There was one Temassa, a noted courtezan of the 
city, who was the most violent of them all and the most 
atrocious in savage deeds, slashing the faces of the more beau- 
tiful of the women with a knife and breaking their teeth, that 
they were beautiful no more. Heaps of furniture were smashed 
with axes and clubs, valuable rugs and mantles were torn to 
pieces in the efforts of individuals to secure them, and the 
original excuse for the violence was lost in the madness of 
carrying it out ; while the unfortunate beauties, after horrid 
outrages, were stabbed to the heart, and some were devoured. 
And thus the dark days passed and the people scarce kept 
their lives within them, many dying of diseases, and of wounds 
received in storming the palaces or fighting among themselves. 
Thousands lived upon such fish as they were able to obtain, 
and upon a few birds, upon the bark, leaves and berries of 
trees, upon grass and leathern things ; and indeed their struggle 
for food stayed at nought (they being weakly human despite 
their ideas). But the great ones in the Tzan's palace determined 
to set forth, before they too were seized of the dire famine, 
and attempt to re-enter that Eden from which their traditions 
sprung. Long had it been discussed, and now was a most 
imperative need for it to be undertaken, for the army was a 

383 



ATLANTIS. 

great drain upon the food supply left for its needful maintenance 
and of such as were in the palace. Touching which, Nezca : 

"Wherefore hesitate ye, lords of Atlantis? Thence ye came, 
and now what shall prevent your return? Is it not a very 
desirable land, nor having been, by any known testimony, 
removed from where it stood ; nourishing also the Tree of Life 
and that dire plant which now might prove acceptable. Nor 
are the Angel guards to be feared, for we have tested the 
virtue of such, and methinks great Azta were match for aught 
that wears the guise of man. Why should ye tarry longer 
where Famine reigns and unseen Death is lord?" 

Discreet messengers were sent to the cities near and far, 
to bid their governors lead forth all they could save to the 
north, where under their king, who would also arrive there, 
they should leave their unfavorable land, desolated by Zul, and 
retake their old places. For it was necessary that they should 
go in as strong guise as possible, remembering their brothers 
and all those families of Adam which they had parted from , 
when they came first to Atlantis, (whose possible arrival Tekthah 
warned them of,) which might dispute their passage, or might 
even have taken the land for themselves. Yet this, as I have 
said, they never did, being destroyed with Atlantis. But in the 
issue these messengers never arrived at their destinations, nor 
was any more heard of them. 

Hut the secret preparations becoming known to the populace 
by some means, aroused in them the greatest fears and rage. 
Their leaders were about to leave them to starvation and death, 
and to face alone the mysterious night of terrors ; while by 
removing even the official mediums of the gods thus — the last 
thing left to them — the chaos of mental nothingness into which 
they were plunged would be unendurable. Why might not they 
also go to this pleasant land from which they were sprung, 
that the superior knowledge of their lords told them of, they 
said, regretful that such as had aroused the legions of Heaven 
against them should now depart and leave them to face the 
heavy judgment ; deserted also by those magicians of wicked 
arts who left their mistresses either dead by unseen means or 
raving maniacs who declared frightful visions. 

384 



THE SCORPION WHIPS OF GOD. 

Exasperated therefore by such things and perceiving their 
frail mortality, a vast horde of emaciated people thronged up 
towards the Red palace, around which was encamped the whole 
army which was in Zul. Nor was there as yet so great a 
danger encountered by Toltiah, for the thousands which came 
up against him were far greater in number than the thousands 
of the legions, and armed with weapons from the sacked em- 
poriums of the Bazaar, being also desperate warriors and very 
large in frame and sinew. Their exposed teeth shone amid 
masses of uncombed beards, and naked arms, shrunken by 
famine, but still formidable, beat the air with swords, spears 
and clubs, while the earnest panting of the mute furious crowd 
betokened how deep were its feelings. 

Upon these dirt-grimed arms glittered rings of rare value 
taken from sacked palaces and emporiums, and grand tiaras 
crowned by peacock's feathers were secured among the tangled 
masses of hair of both men and women. Upon some wretches 
from the battlements and dreadful haunts of the city, whose 
lineaments would inspire fear by their degraded ferocity, was 
buckled armour of gleaming gold and silver, and the colours of 
splendid mantles covered up most of the dirt and shame and 
misery that marched beneath those myriad weapons, A vast 
relief was upon all as the delight of the present action overcame 
the past fears, and the joy of acceptable and pardonable violence 
filled all hearts, together with the thought of storming the 
granaries. 

How sad it was to see where human passions rose from their 
foul corruption into which they had fallen in order to rend one 
another, and near relatives glower in loathing hatred each upon 
each. The women in the crowd, perceiving among the legions 
many lovers, shrieked curses upon them, holding forth tiny 
infants dead of cold and famine and too emaciated to be eaten. 
The lines of guards gazed in fear upon these appalling enemies, 
whose fevered eyes glared from huge sockets and who resembled 
an army of the dead coming up against them in overwhelming 
vengeance. 

Aroused by the murmur of the crowd Toltiah appeared, 
and at sight of him a great yell of rage went up as the 

385 25 



ATLANTIS. 

starving people hurled themselves upon the guards and an 
instant battle closed furiously with sounds of clanging bucklers 
and mighty blows. And at first the guards did but fight with 
small stomach for the fray, because their enemies were brothers 
and they had great pity for a plight that might soon be their 
own ; but as the weapons bit deeply and the joy of war over- 
came their fears and delicacy, they smote hard and fast in 
dread of being overcome. 

There fought with Toltiah all the men of note which were 
in Zul, whose towering crests were known of all, and upon 
the high terraces and roofs appeared those queens whose fames 
were upon all tongues, to look with fear upon the near battle- 
They read in those bright arms and splendid mantles and 
jewellery the fate of the lower city, and dismay was upon them 
to perceive the dreadful ravages of a famine that had not as 
yet touched themselves. The humming of the sling-shot was as 
the sound of bees where in deadly strife men fought, and 
limbs, dismembered, flew into the air. Sword-blades, splintered 
at the point of furious contact with shield or metal harness, 
hurtled dangerously, transfixing far opponents ; while beneath, 
the stabbing spears and knives of obsidian and copper did their 
deadly work. Arrows, sent above the battle by both sides, fell 
among the swaying heads, and long thrilling shrieks of agony 
arose as they pierced them. The Lord Chanoc, governor of 
Atala and Lord of Astra, who was sojourning in Zul, hewed 
his way to the front with an Amazon's axe, where fought 
Toltiah with Marisa's broad cleaver towering high above the 
thickest fight. Around them fell many, beaten down by clubs 
and pierced with spears, and the dead and dying lay Hke 
autumn leaves where Nezca fought, his great sword carrying 
destruction in its sweeping death. Backwards and forwards 
swayed the dense crowd, too earnest in fight to cry out, but 
the women screamed shrilly, and such as through weakness 
fell never rose again, being trampled and smothered. 

Around them were masses of ruins and debris, and in the dust 
of fallen arches and pylons they fought. The low walls that had 
been around the gardens before the earthquakes were now 
heaped up above their ruins by heaps of dead bodies, which 

386 



THE SCORPION WHIPS OF GOD. 

also fell among the trees and reddened the fountains with their 
spouting blood. The red terraces were dotted with bodies 
where the fight waged thickly, the guards now being driven 
back by their opponents. Oris, giant warrior, fell over a dead 
body and pitched his whole length down the steps, falling 
among the opponents. Ah, luckless chief! Nor was he ever 
to rise again, for seized of numerous hands the cruel weapons 
beat his life from him so that his blood ran down the steps 
and mingled with the rest. And nearly also had Nahuasco 
died, for, stooping above a foeman, a huge toothed club smote 
upon his back and he fell groaning; but Toltiah rushed upon 
his foes, bearing them down by his great size and the strength 
of his arm, and rescued the old warrior. Many in such manner 
were smitten down as they stooped to take the rich ornaments 
from their vanquished opponents ; and thus went the fight, the 
leaders with fiery chivalry pressing forwards far in advance of 
their comrades, courting capture and wounds, and both giving 
and receiving dreadful blows. Nezca swung his terrible weapon 
untiringly, glorying in the rushing blood; but, around him, 
arms began to tire, and the combatants grunted at every smash- 
ing blow, panting and sweating and smiting with both hands 
upon their weapons. 

And because of utter feebleness many men fell down, and 
many more were seized of agony in their empty intestines so 
that they groaned, neither were they able to fight any more, 
lying in cramp upon the ground. And in spite of far smaller 
numbers the guards prevailed against their famine-stricken op- 
ponents, and beneath the dark clouds lay mingled in sad con- 
fusion the wrecks of Earth and Man, formed (with but amazing 
differences in quantities) from the same atoms. 



387 



CAP. X. 



THE 15EAUTV OF HOLINESS. 



Ever is there sadness greater or less in all the worlds, for 
where Love is, dwells also Sorrow; and indeed they cannot be 
separated, for without care is no love. And among the godly 
family of Noah was much unrest concerning Ham and his 
waywardness, and his espoused wife especially was distressed by 
his absences and coldness towards her. She knew not of the 
mistress he had deserted in Chuza, leaving her helpless and 
alone in the midst of such terrors ; to her loving heart it was 
sufficient that he excused his absence for so long to the ph^.- 
nomena of the Heavens. And these were great indeed, nor 
did Ham mock any more at the rolling thunder-clouds which 
hung above them like the bellying roofs of a tent and stretched 
afar to form a meet background for the flaming majesty of the 
volcanoes, whose fires cast an infernal glow upon the darkness 
above, whereby all the Earth appeared to be consuming in 
burning horror. The winds, carrying the ashes and scoria; 
afar, laid a pall over the land to cover its fallen ruins and 
prepare it for what should come ; and looking over its dark 
sorrow Ham wished to have transfixed Emarna's heart with 
his spear, being haunted by the pleading love of her large 
brown eyes. 

Still in the village sojourned the two strangers, whom gentle 
manners and speech had caused to become greatly beloved. 
Which two now ordered to be prepared much food-stuffs for a 
long period, which were stored up within the Mexiah upon the 
topmost floor, arousing great curiosity in the minds of all, who 
received no answer to their questionings save that so it was 
commanded. There was an abundance of fruit to be obtained, 
for the forests preserved the central trees and vines safe from 

388 



THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS. 

the icy winds that shrivelled the stately palms and ferns which 
were away from such kindly shelter; and to such haven came 
herds of animals, indeed every sort of them appeared to flock to 
the hills; which also was a phenomenon causing no little 
wonder and uneasiness, as Ham reported the absence of them 
upon the lower lands. Thus all day were carried in piles of 
all manner of fruits and vegetables in rush baskets woven by 
the women, and great cakes of bread prepared with honey ; 
and in earthern vessels of rude manufacture water was stored 
and sealed up. But of a night, when the black deck cut clear 
and sharp against the dull red clouds, and the blacker shadow 
of the door was displayed in the fire-illuminated side, the quiet 
people marvelled at the structure and the preparations, and 
thought in awe upon the nameless sins of Zul and those in 
high places, and the mighty wonders wrought of the towering 
sons of God. Yet their minds being either pure or simple it 
came not to them to argue upon the mysteries of generation 
beyond what was meet and comely, and the dread sins whereby 
came such future doom being impossible and unsupportable, Man 
becoming as a vast beast that wrought confusion without power 
to govern or limit its appalling powers. 

Now upon a certain day, (the ship being completed,) Noah 
built within it a temple wherein to worship fitly the Lord God 
Jehovah, and made within it an altar, upon which he sacrificed 
in the presence of all his family and the two strangers. And 
when they were gathered together it was dark, but there 
descended upon the altar a soft light that illuminated the place, 
and a chord of music sounded upon the air. Low, beautiful 
and wondrous, it seemed to gather from a great distance 
until in a sweUing note of marvel it vibrated all around, and 
as the harps of the Angels swept by the wings of rosy dawn 
to the voice of myriad stars it fell upon the ears of the adoring 
sons of Earth. 

A cry of joy broke from Susi, but Ham, sinking his head 
upon his deep chest, durst not raise his eyes; yet prayed fer- 
vently. There was an awful silence, and methought it seemed 
as though a Hand had been placed upon each bowed head, 
from which sprang a light of exceeding beauty. Upon the 

389 



ATLANTIS. 

children's foreheads it shone, Hghting their sinless eyes that 
need as yet not droop even before that beauty of holiness, 
they turning with fearless inquiry towards the Power of God to 
see what might befall, nor fearing when from the visible Form 
of music a voice came. 

"Go forth!" it said : "be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish 
the earth, and subdue it : and have dominion over the fish of 
the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living 
thing that moveth upon the Earth." 

It ceased. The bright light faded and a flash of lightning 
consumed the offerings which were upon the altar; while from 
great spaces came an echoing chorus, most beautiful and sweet, 
"Go forth!" 

And the two strangers, which had knelt in most holy a(^or- 
ation, arose; "Go forth!" they said; "trust, and all shall be 
well with you : and hinder nought that shall come. Servants of 
God. go forth, and fare you well." 

And leaping up, as bright comets they arose and were ng 
more; and for a long while the people remained prostrate and 
marvelling, Ham in his heart confessing his sins and making 
vows of repentance. 

And when all had gone forth and were asleep in the night, 
Susi sat with Shem by the fire at the door of their tent, holding 
his hand and watching the glowing clouds. And as they sat 
they perceived many fiery orbs moving and crossing continually, 
strange sounds breaking upon their ears with the shuffling of 
myriads of feet, while the scintillating points increased in number. 
The man would have arisen and enquired into the cause of it, 
but Susi restrained him and they sat and watched for what 
should come. 

Into the light of the watch-fires came moving forms, and 
presently they came nearer so that the watchers perceived them 
to be animals ; nor was their wonder lessened when they ob- 
served the number of varieties. P'rom large to small they 
gathered in a far-stretching circle near to the fire-blaze, crowding 
together as in deadly fear and whimpering pitifully. Stately 
deer of great size towered with their antlered glories above 
hideous baboons and huge apes of various species that looked 

390 



THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS. 

with their vivid eyes and gleaming teeth Hke demon forms ; 
horses snorted by the side of terrified crouching panthers and 
ferocious aurochs, a cayman pushing its fearful muzzle through 
a great crowd of rabbits, wild swine, porcupines, tortoises, conies 
and timid gazelles. A fearful form showed among them, whose 
tiny eyes, twinkling and evil, and the long horn upon its head 
bespoke the dreadful unicorn, oc and large tapirs with others 
like to them — half-mammoth, half-boar — thrust their huge bodies 
forward. The sweeping tusks of a majestic mastodon shone 
white in the glare, and long necks swung high in the midst of 
the moving throng, from which the luminous eyes glared softly. 
There was no trampling down of weak ones, no disordered 
rushes ; but a vast fear seemed to pervade the mysterious 
multitude. 

There appeared no elucidation of such a perplexing mystery, 
nor could the man's expanded nostrils discover aught but the 
animal odours. There was no smoke by which he could read 
of burning forests, whose abundant herbage should have sufficed 
the beasts in satisfaction, not yet being withered. 

The muffled thunder of a lion's roar vibrated the atmosphere, 
and as at a signal, and without a sound, they were gone ; 
fox, mastodon, pig, deer, rabbit — all gone. Those lithe forms 
that would sweep along with the speed of a tempest, those 
gigantic shapes that would rush with the terrors of an earth- 
quake through the forest, had vanished without a sign, a sound. 

The two watchers sat there for long, thinking and wondering. 
Upon the clouds the manifested fury of the volcanoes was mag- 
nificent and awful, and Susi wondered if again that figure 
hovered above Axatlan in flaming majesty holding the sword 
of fire. 

Thus passed the wondrous night, and next morning a number 
of the smaller animals were discovered in the Mexiah, having 
entered by the sloping gangway through the door. Mindful of 
the words of the Angels they were suffered to remain undisturbed, 
and were nourished with food, being endeared to the women 
and children by their tameness, yet causing fear by the know- 

« The Rhinoceros (probably); see note Cap. IV., lib. II. 



ATLANTIS. 

ledge that they sought refuge from an impending catastrophe 
that as yet their superior lords knew not of. Yet these under- 
stood that some great thing was to come by reason of the evil 
of Atlantis and the confusion of Mankind, and all prayed greatly 
to Heaven and were afraid. 

But ah, with what fears I looked upon the altered face of 
Earth and strove within myself concerning the unknown Future ! 
What were these Mortals to so greatly move Heaven? Beings 
of initial holiness who afterwards developed into incarnate Evils! 
Beautiful they were, but mostly used their beauty to the for- 
warding of evil, and, the more beautiful, so much the more did 
they sin and were able to sin. Yet who would deem that those 
little children, guileless and unwilling to do wrong, should take 
to themselves a talent to go astray and lead others with them? 
Instructed of Angels, who loved them, they were happy and 
mighty in innocence, mightier than strong men, and yet in after 
days they fell and became as the rest. 

How I loved those little ones for their joyous fearlessness* 
and for the beauty of their unsullied innocence, and loved to 
watch them play until the shadows of Earth's weariness gathered 
in their great eyes, surprised that they must cease to play, but 
glad to leave even Earth's joys for pleasant sleep; when with 
their little plump limbs deserted by their spirits, folded softly 
within their tender mother's arms, they slept that mystic rest 
they cared not to enquire of in quiet peace until bright dawn 
kissed them into new life of Earth. Little living forms with 
souls of Angels, until one day a wonder grows upon them, and 
an awakening, as the body grows and the germs of Earth grow 
within them and awaken to life and the voice of their mother 
Earth. 

Fondest of all was I of Huri, a tiny daughter of Susi, and 
oft would beguile her baby hours with pleasant play, and guide 
her feet to where the water-lilies grew in shady brooks, where 
careless of harm she wandered, until the cold came and the 
little brooks were sealed up and the lilies died. And always 
did I look in longing for her to come and play and with her 
baby laughter to drive away the load of sorrow in my heart 
for a while, as in loving guise 1 held her little hand, or carried 

392 



THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS. 

her within my broad arms where she lay and gazed so strangely 
upon me as half-divining my nature. And one night I found 
her alone in that temple within the Mexiah, where in dread 
contemplation my feet had led me ; and as she stood there in 
the awful shadow of the Holy of Holies, lifting the veil in her 
little hand, not a doubt clouded her baby face overspread with 
a joyous smile as she perceived me. 

" Come ! " she cried, putting out her arms towards me, as a 
tiny Spirit of Love that would lead to Heaven. But all un- 
bidden the blinding tears arose at her pretty innocence, which 
might go before the Throne unchidden, whilst I, with the 
knowledge of the ages, dared now not enter the awful Presence 
thus. 

"Nay, dearest of God's little Loves," I answered, (and at 
the thought of my words the tears burst forth,) " I cannot 
come." Were ever words so sad? 

Yet she persisted, catching at my hand and pulling with all 
her tiny strength, pleading tearfully that I would grant what 
was to her a small request; yet although it tore me to say 
her nay, I would not. And yet once more in strange persistence 
she required my obedience, nor would she be refused save by 
force. 

So I went in with her and knelt before the altar that was 
to me, with all my dimmed perception, the steps of the Throne, 
trusting in the great purity of her who so importuned, and 
waited for a sign. But none came of any sort at all; the 
Spirit was not there while I stayed, offended at my frowardness, 

" It is not for me to be here," I cried in sorrow, pressing 
the little one to my bosom, "but for thee, little beauty of 
purity, it is meet; for ever thine Angels pray for thee before 
the Throne of God, and as a very precious thing is thy name 
cherished in Heaven. Would that I were as thou, my baby ! " 

And so we went out, and I saw in the night many Spirits 
descend to the Earth which were to work the appointed Word. 



393 



CAP XL 



THE NAVEL OF THE CLOUDS. 



And Emarna from the wilderness raised her heart in suppli- 
cation that her love might be satisfied by even so much as a 
sight of her lord. For with such things is love content, asking 
but Uttle for its share and forgetting in one moment's bhss the 
misery of past years. 

And for a punishment to both that they did love in such 
fashion it came to pass that Ham, scanning from a high point 
the surrounding country, perceived her where she stood afar; 
and yearning after her guiltily (whom he believed to be dead)^^ 
sped downwards towards where he had seen her. 

Swiftly he ran and arrived at the place, she also running to 
nieet him, throwing abroad her arms to embrace him. 

"I knew my lord would come again," she cried joyfully. 
" Upon yonder peak I saw thee poised as a god, and my heart 
cried out to me that thou wouldst come." 

The dark chief seized her, pressing her to his breast and 
kissing her rapturously. ''Thou mistress of my heart," he 
cried, "would that I had known thee sooner!" 

He set her down, and seating himself upon a rock, drew her 
on to his knee. He laughed and patted her cheeks, kissing her 
at times and wreathing her compliant arms around his neck ; 
while she, delighted to be so entreated, lay still and suffered 
it joyfully with half-closed eyes, while above them the dark 
clouds rolled and spread and the lightning flared on the horizon 
of fear. Yet it recked not to that twain that the land was 
black and forbidding, for in each other's presence was all desire 
satisfied for a time. 

" I dreamed that we should be parted, my Love," Emarna 
said, toying with the warrior's braided hair; " yet, although I 

394 



THE NAVEL OF THE Cr.OUDS. 

thought my dream fulfilled, have I sought thee long, and behold 
there is but little to eat." 

The man gazed hard upon her, suddenly perceiving in her 
shrunken appearance the wealth of this woman's love for him. 

" And 1 left thee alone to die," he murmured in self-reproach. 

" But thou hast come again," she said, " and in thy love I 
live." 

He kissed her lips passionately, while she clung to him with 
a fast embrace as though fearing he would go from her as he 
did before. But the great man dandled her in his arms and 
swore he would never leave her again though all the Angels 
demanded it, saying that now he would return to the camp and 
get her some food. But she forbade him, praying that he would 
not leave her for a little, because that she had rather gaze into 
his eyes than feed her body. 

Whereupon, nothing loath, he sat with her, laughing and 
talking in merry humour and pinching her cheeks; but she, 
filled with sadness and forebodings, would have preferred him 
to be more serious with her. 

"A truce to thy silence, fair mistress," he cried gaily; "yet 
thou art hungry and an empty stomach makes poor cheer. 
.1 will go up yonder and bring to thee plenty of victuals." 

" Nay, go not yet. Of a truth am I hungry, but hungry 
for thy love. My heart is fearful and my soul disturbed be- 
cause of the signs and wonders in the Heavens, that bespeak 
no good, O Love of my love, and the heart of a woman speaks 
in words that come sadly true. It tells me that if thou wentest 
to obtain aught afar from me we should never meet again. May 
we not die together, dearest?" 

"Die! Who speaks of death?" he cried. 

Emarna smiled faintly, yet a terrible fear gathered in her 
dusky eyes. She opened her mouth and gasped, while a shiver 
vibrated her from head to foot. Then her eyes dilated as she 
gathered her forces for what she knew was a test her lover 
could not stand, and pointed despairingly to where the clouds 
rolled black as ebon night, as great spheres moving on one 
another in a vapour of ochreous and purple hues. 

" 'Tis nought," Ham said, following with his eyes her pointing 

395 



ATLANTIS. 

finger, yet somewhat dismayed, for the sight was appalling in 
its gloomy horror. 

"Ah, my dear lord!" gasped Emarna, clutching at her throat 
as though she suffocated; "but perceivest thou not the terrible 
figure that comes towards us with the naked sword outstretched 
over the land? His feet touch the earth and the whirlwinds 
go before him; his awful head is crowned with horror and 
blackness, and storms arise about his path. O my Love 1 To 
flee were vain ! Kill me and then thyself, and in one another's 
arms will we die! " 

The chief sat motionless, with great eyes staring at the darkly 
awful form that swept along the path towards them, swung 
from the clouds. As the woman had said, a terrific commotion 
was about it; cyclones eddied around its feet and around it the 
lightnings, as fiery serpents, played, while afar sounded the 
roar and shriek of an hundred tempests. 

Yet, brave in her despair, the woman kneeled and bared her 
bosom, pulling aside the mantle that the invited stroke might, 
be sure. 

"Strike, my lord!" she cried, lifting the spear and placing 
the point against her round breast so that the cold bright point 
was buried in the softness of it. Her lips were white, her eyes 
desperate and her bosom heaved with wild pantings. " Cause 
me not to suffer thus!" she cried piteously ; "it is cruel, dear 
Love, and I am but a woman. Be brave, my Love, and strike 1 " 

He lowered his appalled eyes upon her, while the distant 
sounds grew more distinct. 

"It is because of this," he said hoarsely, "and behold I shall 
die because of thee." 

Emarna sprang to her feet with a sharp cry of agony, sob- 
bing wildly. 

"That thou shalt never say!" she cried in torment, both 
hands clasping her breast while she gazed through floods of 
tears at the crouching chieftain. "Go!" she cried; "Go! while 
I have the strength to bid thee. Go ! There is yet time, and 
thou art swift and strong! Ely, oh fly, and hasten! It comes!" 

The warrior rose up hurriedly, and with a glance of abject 
terror made a leap towards the higher land — tlie foot-hills of 

396 



THE NAVEL OF THE CLOUDS. 

the distant mountains. Then he checked himself and ran back 
to where Emarna had sunk down to watch him. 

"Come!" he cried; "I will save thee also!" 

She leaped up in an agony of impatience, waving her hands 
wildly against him, while her countenance expressed the torture 
of her heart. 

"Nay, nay!" she cried; "fly, oh fly! It is too late!" 

Still he persisted, but, turning, she sped with the swiftness of 
a deer towards the approaching horror; not unwiUing, if he 
should follow, that they should die together. But Love cannot 
mate with Pity. 

With the roar of a vast tornado the terror was upon them, 
and the man turned and fled with all his powerful speed, urged 
on by a shrieking blast from the tempest that hastened his long 
bounds, filling him with fear and an agony of furious haste. 
Forward he sped with terrific leaps, the roaring, shrieking tem- 
pest approaching ever nearer behind him. He cast away his 
spear, his knife and axe, loosening the thongs of his bearskin 
mantle and suffering it also to fall, while never stopping for an 
instant his wild flight, only wishing that he had not delayed so 
long. He gave no thought to Emarna, nor one backward glance 
to where she stood and waved him a last farewell, with heart 
more full of fear for him than for her own swiftly-approaching 
doom, and then turned to face Death. He only ran as he had 
never run before, with a horror of darkness surging down on 
him and a deafening majesty of sound all around. 

But far it was to the higher land. His furious feet beat the 
earth, his hair fell from its comely braids and streamed out 
behind: with gaping mouth he panted loudly, and on either 
side his strong arms beat the air to aid his desperate legs. On 
and on, leap after leap, racing and bounding, flying over streams 
and fallen tree-trunks, over rock and hollow; and presently a 
flash of lightning flew past him with a splitting of the air and 
a nearly overpoweringly sulphureous odour. A swishing sound 
rose above all others for an instant and a shower of icy spray 
flew over the fugitive, reviving yet urging him to fresh efforts. 

His feet splashed in water as a wave rushed past him, and 
with a cry of terror he plunged onwards yet the more franti- 

397 



ATLANTIS. 

cally. Wonder it was that heart or lungs did not burst in that 
dreadful struggle for life, as before his eyes the landscape reeled- 
and swirled. Death seemed to He both before and behind, yet 
that behind was more certain than that in front, and the mortal 
instinct bade continuous action. 

Over his wide shoulder he cast a fearful glance, perceiving 
thereby a horror of night in which opened a roaring, seething 
inferno. His feet gave way and his joints were loosened, so 
that falling down he lay still and panted as an hunted animal, 
until a wave of water lapped over his feet. Whereupon he 
leaped upright, perceiving a great and dreadful spectacle where 
the tempest in all its fury raged. 

There the clouds shut out all light, driven before the storm, 
and enormous waterspouts ran in gliding circles that shone wan 
and ghastly against the thick darkness. Torn and shattered 
by the wind the vast clouds moved in swift battalions, swinging 
funnel-shaped trunks to the earth that was rapidly disappearing 
under torrents of water, surging and eddying, cascading over 
rocks and filling hollows with swirling pools. It seemed as* 
though columns upheld domed roofs, and court upon court of 
ebony rolled back into the darkness above the wreck of storms 
beneath, where vast figures gathered within the gloom as called 
together by a signal. And now the thunder rolled, echoing 
round the vaulted blackness, and through the cloudy columns 
the wind swept with a hollow roar, reflected lightning illumin- 
ating the dark colonnades with majenta and purple glares. A 
rapidly-rising ocean flowed beneath, continuing the reflections 
downwards, and encroaching with swiftness on the foothills ; a 
mangled body whirled and tossed upon the waves, and there 
were others also borne upon the swift tide. 

Like the horror of a fearful dream it passed before his eyes, 
and then he turned and continued his flight, leaping upwards 
and onwards, searching with straining vision for the place of 
the village of his people. Fearful voices followed him and fast 
behind him the relentless waters rose, as fast as he himself fled 
from them. There was only safety in the mountains, and so 
great was the pressing peril that the man gave no thought 
to the great phenomenon behind him, but only stumbled 

39« 



THE NAVEL OF THE CLOUDS. 

onward with panting breath and bursting veins towards the heights. 

Confused and weary he ran onward, at times walking per- 
force, and then as fear possessed him afresh, racing with speed. 
He passed a large tree and for an instant hesitated, thinking 
to climb up into safety, but instinct bade him continue on lest 
he be cut off from all escape. Higher and higher he climbed 
in a horrid twilight, each step now being nearer the desired 
goal, (for the ground was rising sharply,) yet feeling pains all 
over him and perceiving his limbs to be cut and bruised and 
covered with blood. Torn and gashed by thorns, briars and 
rocks and many fallen branches, he marvelled that he had so 
escaped, as he sank down in a patch of fern high above the 
boiling flood and gasped in a great self-pity. Nor did it to 
him occur that, fleeing one day from the punishment of his sins, 
he might not haply so escape when the gates of Death were 
closed upon him entered within them, and the Tribunal was set. 

Yet also other eyes had witnessed that dread scene without 
understanding it. For Azta, watching the lowering masses 
over the land, had seen, as it were, a world burst in the heavens 
with an outpouring of thick horror, and shapes descending 
therefrom in the cyclones and dark night, and from very far 
had come the voices of the storm while yet in Zul there was a 
suffocating calm. Covering whole horizons the clouds nearer to the 
city appeared to fall as in a vortex to where the awful gatherings 
rolled, rent by lightnings and bursting with thunder that shook 
the suspended Earth ; while as a palace of Infernal wonder and 
magnitude the varying columns and roofs and rolling pillars of cloud 
stood, fading into the illumined distances. From Earth to immense 
heights rose those awful galleries ; across halls of purple and dark 
ochre flamed green fans of light, disclosing enormous masses 
rolling and tossing high in air where solid spheres flew into 
shattered streamers, clutching like fingers of demons, and black 
trunks swung above the roar of falling watery worlds above the 
doomed region, while from the central inferno rays of darkness 
lay like tremulous bands across the night that spread above Zul. 

A few flames on temple roofs waved in the oncoming gusts 
of wind, and ghastly nebulous apparitions showed where palaces 
lay, but mostly an amorphous gloom was upon all. In the 

399 



ATLANTIS. 

darkness the square entrances of the palace sprang into light 
as slaves ignited the torches, the glow illuminating strips of the 
great terraced steps for a short distance ; and fearing more than 
I dared say I stood beside my Love to shield her if I might. 
She shivered as I took her hand, looking upon me with her great 
mystic eyes that flared like golden stars in the gloom, and I 
saw that her strong mind and will were subdued before the 
elemental terrors and reduced to subservience to what might come. 

Yet the cloudy Horror touched not the city, passing in its 
dread procession afar ; and to-night there was going to be given 
a great feast to all who should set forth with to-morrow's light 
in the desperate retreat from a doomed land, and fly to carry 
sin and all evil imagining over all the world so that there should 
be no end to the* wickedness of it all. 

And I, what should I do? With my Love would I go, still 
hoping against hope that I might cause her to rule in holiness 
from another throne that would arise amid the same conditions 
as the present one was deserted in. But standing with her on 
that last night of sorrow by the cliff that overlooked the seS, 
we perceived a star to fall from Heaven into the waters. Down 
it fell, and ever downwards, nor did the waters quench it or 




NOR DID THE WATERS QUENCH IT. 
400 



THE NAVEL OF THE CLOUDS. 

dim its brilliancy, as tremulously twinkling it sank lower and 
lower, a great light beginning to spread from it so that it moved 
in a sea of silver. Brighter the coloured light grew and of deeper 
tint and increasing, until in liquid flashing gold it shimmered 
with living beauty ; and still the hue deepened gradually to 
fiery red. Figures leaped to meet it, bright and beauteous, 
surrounding it in bewildering mazes until the light darkened 
upon an ocean of blood, and the night closed upon the wonder 
and the mystery of it all. 



401 



26 



CAP. XII. 

**FOR TO-MORROW WE DIE." 

The Hall of Feasting was crowded and the granaries and all 
stores of provisions had been thrown open that their contents 
might be carried forth with the fugitives on the morrow. And 
many who had never entered there before, and only knew by 
repute what they now found to be less than the gorgeous 
reality, gazed delightedly upon the frescoes and the vast golden 
mirrors radiant in the torchlight ; and happy they who could 
forget if but for a little space their load of anxiety, drowning 
it in the pleasures of such high fraternity and the glowing 
warmth of light and colour, until it was recalled to them by the 
mute reminders of yawning cracks and that long fissure, roughly 
covered, that stretched from side to side of the room, one-third 
of its length from the dais. 

Some shuddered as they remembered that it was here that 
the great massacre of the princes and nobles took place and 
where their resurrected Chief was murdered ; while the deep 
roar of the lions that guarded the Hall of the Throne caused 
them to tremble by its uneasy omen and its nearness to them. 

Torches flared wherever they could be placed, so that there 
was much light, and without were bonfires where the army lay. 
At the blast of a trumpet slaves began to dispose the guests 
according to rank and directions, most being placed below the 
fissure; those less exalted, luxuriating on costly furs, finding 
themselves awed by the presences of some of the mighty of 
the land whom they had before only seen in the distance. 

But all eyes became centered on the dais, where lay Azta 
and Toltiah, crowned and in full harness, in a blaze of light 
that flashed upon armour and gems and made brighter the 
coloured vestments, continuing in gleaming masses around where 
st»od guards and gaily-decked menials, the shield-bearers, pipe- 

402 



"FOR TO-MORROW WE DIE." 

bearers, fan-bearers, and all the great retinues of the nobles im- 
mediately attending, and falling upon the array of gorgeously 
apparelled queens and princes nearest to them, all wearing 
everything they possessed too valuable to be entrusted to slaves, 
ready for the morrow. The mistresses of the Tzan lay in 
masses of coloured light, where all manner of starry gems cast 
back the torch-flare : levie, Sumar, Annis, Vasni, Zia, Eval, Sio, 
Cyvadne, voluptuous queens, shining as flaming Spirits in their 
splendour of form and flashing ornaments. 

Here one in a blaze of emeralds, turning upon her wide hips 
caused the beauteous gems to cast their flashes in a bewildering 
dazzle, and from the darker places where the wearers melted 
into the shadows came the scintillating gleams of wondrous 
jewels. Dark-eyed Sada, whose breasts were hidden beneath 
shields of pearls, flashed her priceless gems with every move 
of her large fat arms; blue-eyed Tua still held her head dis- 
dainfully opposite Axazaya, mother of princes, her eyes bluer 
by the contrast of the pearl-dust upon her face and strings of 
pearls dependant from her red hair dressed high with gemmy 
fastenings. Tola, pallid and large, looked around under her 
immense coral tiara crowned with peacock's plumes, and beside 
her was Kah, elegant and tall, who spoke cheerfully and laughed, 
as also did the beauteous Mea, a very young girl, wearing 
emeralds in her teeth. 

By the dais was the lord Nezca, splendid in his glittering 
harness and vast symmetry, and there also was the veteran 
Nahuasco, whose lion-like head was scarce rivalled by Iztli, the 
dark conqueror of Trocoatla, and whose regards were much 
sought after by the more elderly queens. Chanoc, Lord of 
Astra, shone in brave trappings, and among the throng were 
Lamec, Adar, Eto-masse, Hammur, Mehir (Lord of Chalac), Rhea, 
Hano, Uta, Sidi-Assur, Iru with the vast shoulders, and many 
more great ones. But such as Xoleph the slaver and Mataca 
the purveyor of meat found themselves ill at ease where they 
sat opposite to the sea-captain Akin and the huge Hoetlan, 
who wore a Unicorn-skull helmet and had great gold rings upon 
his arms and ears and legs; and all who reclined below the 
fissure envied the grandeur and beauty of all above. 

403 



ATLANTIS. 

Yet how sad was that gathering ! There was no happiness 
nor even freedom from care, for there were many there with 
sore wounds received in the recent furious battle with the 
people, and all knew it was a farewell banquet fed from their 
terrible scarcity, perchance the last meal they would eat or 
could be able to obtain ; and the people gazed upon one 
another, stern and gloomy, thinking of the starving inhabitants 
of the great place, who would be deserted and left behind to 
die. Only to such as had never perceived the grand Hall 
before was there any pleasure, and their delight at the bold 
beauty around brought them relief. These did not notice that 
the huge wine-vessels were not filled ; they had never known 
their measure : neither did the meagre variety of the viands 
cause them uneasiness, as, surrounded by such bravery, their old 
desires began to appear with a regret that they must leave 
their beautiful city. 

The slaves handed round the meats and drinks, and in time 
the gloom began to fall from all. It is enough to human 
hearts, the joy of the tangible Present! The sound of many 
voices began to arise, more and more, and laughter to flow 
as the wine covered with its veil of mercy the remembrances 
of woes past and to come. The slaves ran nimbly through the 
tables, yet with a dire terror in their hearts, for they believed 
that they would either be left behind or be slain when the feast 
was over. The red torch-glare cheered the feasters' hearts, and 
snatches of old songs were sung, and at length some of the 
women, in whose thoughts the unused luxury of wine had 
aroused wantonness, arose and danced with increasing gaiety. 
The warriors roared applause, excited to enthusiasm by such 
careless act that banished all thoughts of care, and braceleted 
arms were waved in the fumy atmosphere, and beaten shields 
thundered to the accompaniment of measured song. 

Then Azta arose, and a shrill trumpet blast commanded 
silence as she stood forth upon the dais, crowned with the 
Lunar diadem upon whose crystal symbol the lights gathered 
wondrously, her whole majestic form alive with fire where 
wondrous gems in teeth, belts, plates and shields accentuated 
her sumptuous beauty of outline. No chaplets of roses swept 

404 



'•'FOR TO-MORROW WE DIE." 

in their soft loveliness beneath the swelling glories of her bosom 
to-night; the roses were dead: but from masses of large emeralds 
and opals rose the ivory beauties, and between them, pressing 
the soft skin, reposed a pearl of enormous size. Her hair 
was interlooped with strings of pearls, rubies and diamonds, and 
even now her eyebrows were dressed with care. Over all was 
cast a yellow veil of very fine silk covered with gemmy points, 
and standing forth in her incomparable beauty before the 
hundreds, she began in a clear voice the recital of the nation's 
history, from when the tribes sprang together at the signal of 
Tekthah up through their wars and triumphs to the present, 
when, deserted by Zul and their gods, they must leave their 
land and their glorious cities and set forth, not in ordered 
march, but as best they could, to meet in the north, beyond 
the mountains. Thence, if haply they survived, they would 
again join their arms and endeavour to recover the return journey 
to that Eden whence their old forefathers had been ejected, 
and retrieve by force of armed knowledge their inheritance 
under a leader whom the gods had given back to them from 
the dead. 

A great shout of approval answered her, and when she 
raised the tall orbed sceptre of state, whose golden sphere 
rested upon the four symbolical arms of their adoption, the 
enthusiasm was very great. As a goddess of Atlantis she ap- 
peared to them, wondrously arrayed, and never stood forth such 
a standard-bearer! 

Tears of emotion streamed from warriors' eyes and loud sobs 
showed more than the grandest roars of triumph the intensity 
of feeling wrought by a woman's magic. Toltiah, sullen and 
observant, dared not rise to hinder the ambitious act that 
should have been his, and Azta, moved by an uncontrollable 
pride, cried out: "To-night am I Queen of Atlantis!" 

" Hail, Neptsisl" cried Nezca, bending low before her his golden 
crest. But no mortal lived to comprehend such comparison. 

The Tzan's countenance expressed jealousy and mortification, 
but Azta's eyes flashed fiery joy at the great ovation from all 
the princes, satisfied ambition for an instant triumphing over 
even that great love she bore to Toltiah ; and I wondered 

405 



ATLANTIS. 

would it have done so had Huitza in verity stood there. 

But Tairu began to sing the old battle-songs of the wars of 
Tekthah, and all there beat upon their shields and sang also 
in chorus; and becoming of reckless mood plunged their heads 
into the wine-vessels and gorged themselves to the full, nor were 
the women slow to follow their example. Clouds of sweet- 
scented smoke rolled up from the inhaling-pipes, and being, as 
I have said, unused to such by reason of enforced abstinence, 
it wrought mischief within all ; and as the strains of music 
commenced, many young women sprang forth in the dance, 
kissing their hands to the company. Lascivious eyes watched 
them, and drunken men raised themselves from the litter of 
victuals into which they had fallen helplessly, to follow the 
wanton voluptuous movements, which became wilder and more 
abandoned by reason of the applause. 

Screams of women arose, but, unheeding, that weird dance 
of death went on ; and as exhausted dancers fell back into 
ready arms, others eagerly took their place, whirling to the^ 
furious music with flying garments that they did not hesitate 
to relinquish. The streaming torch-lights that flung their lightning 
shadows now here now there excited them the more, and the 
rich perfumes of the wine and viands pervaded their senses so 
that many fell down and writhed in convulsions ; but through 
the redly-illuminated dust swayed in reeking odours by currents 
of air, swung coloured mantles and flashed spear and sword, 
and the myriad gleaming points of gems. A hurricane of sounds 
swelled to the lofty roof, pierced by screams of wantonness, 
the people tiring themselves by the violence of their passions, 
which they continued nevertheless. Toltiah, wallowing in ignoble 
confusion, led the wild debauch, his mighty voice, now grand 
and vast as an organ rising above a storm of wind and hail, now 
attuned to sweetest music, crowning all other sounds with melody. 

The nobles joined in the revels, the Tzan, supported by his 
mistresses, drinking to Zul from a bowl formed by the skull of 
a newly-killed slave, in horrid blasphemy. His drunken eyes 
rolled wildly and he threw his great arms about in helpless 
foolishness, as around him lay many overcome by exhaustion 
and apojilexy But still women whirled with flying hair in the 

406 



" V()\< TO-MORROW WK DIK." 

dance, the warriors seizing upon scenic by force, which being wives 
and mistresses of merchants caused many combats and murders. 

Azta, hke an Infernal ([ueen, drank with an>' chief wlio 
petitioned her, and Iru, in the l)lood of two servants whose 
heads he smashed together, drank to the conciucst of luleii, 
caUing upon the warriors to remember the northern phice of 
gathering. The dazzhng mirrors into.xicated the drunken senses 
of all, and not a few raised their shaking bowls with lewd ex- 
pressions and drank to the obscene frescoes amid roars of mer- 
riment. The time sped in outrageous pleasures, and still that 
wild saturnalia continued as the Devil's brood danced to its doom. 
The licences were degrading in their daring extremes as the wine 
was drained to its dregs, and men and women, sunk below the level 
of the beasts, became mingled in a dreadful whirlpool of disgrace. 

Suddenly a gloom fell over the light, and all believing the 
torches to be becoming exhausted, the dances and revelries 
became more frenzied still. A current of icy atmosphere entered 
the warm chamber, and savage curses were shouted against the 
return of the dreadful day that should end the joy of that 
foolishness. With a last diabolical effort the music banged and 
crashed and in dilirious mazes the dancers leaped, clasped in 
each other's arms, in the fading light, j)anting in the dust and 
heat and falling in confusion over prostrate bodies. Then came 
a sound echoing through the va.st hall and stilling all else. It 
was as though a silver trumpet had been sounded, loud, shrill 
and piercing; and all who were able looked to see what it might 
be. noting with dismay how the darkness increased. 

I knew what it was, and Xezca knew also. 

"Peace!" he thundered involuntarily, with a great shout; but 
Azta laughed loud and long, her voice ringing in mockery over the 
tentative silence that had fallen upon the throng. And looking upon 
all there in the stillness that followed, the thought leaped into my 
soul, which appertained also unto myself: In the enjo\-ment of the 
Present prepare for the Future, (for also in so doing is a certain 
ioy) ; because the Present even now is the Past, antl the Past is 
for ever gone from us. nor is its enjoyment active, being but a 
memory; for we can never recall the joy of the Xow, but in 
preparing a pleasant Future we lay a golden road of ever Present. 

407 



CAP. XIII. 



"MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. 



Azta's ghastly merriment died away in fearful silence as a 
cloud descended, filling the hall with an intensity of darkness 
and extinguishing the lights. With a knowledge that this was 
the end I hastened to her side, for such was my chosen place 
before Heaven, advancing my buckler for her protection against 
all that might come, and daring to oppose The Omnipotent for 
the sake of my Love. Not in impious revolt, but rather in 
despairing justification of a course that had gone so sadly 
through not submitting to superior knowledge ; and loyalty to 
a spirit so madly beloved, and so disastrously. ' 

A wind swept along, chill with an indefinable horror of death 
and corruption, and a low sound of mortal terror followed it. 
All below the dais cast themselves down, save Nezca; and the 
knees of Toltiah shook with fear. 

A flash of vivid light cleft the dark obscurity, and there 
appeared a Hand holding a four-armed cross, like to their 
standard. In full view of all it appeared, and many believed 
it to be a recognition of their symbol by the gods ; but Azta 
and Toltiah, perceiving that they were in the presence of an 
awful power, prostrated themselves, leaving but Nezca and 
myself standing with shining countenances and figures visible 
to all. For having sinned by knowledge and volition w^e cared 
not as cravens to avoid what should come, standing with de- 
spairing hearts while came another Hand and slowly broke the 
symbol in twain. 

An irrepressible groan broke from all who witnessed it, and 
then a voice, more mighty than storms, but plainly and awfully 
distinct, spoke : 

" It is enough, U People of the Last creation 1 Your sins are 

408 



"MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. " 

no longer endurable and the word is spoken that you shall all 
die. The tree is evil and the branches spread, but the axe is 
laid at the root and it shall cease. Thus is it spoken! And 
you, the shining ones, that stand so boldly now, beware I 
For you also are words spoken that cannot alter. By the curse 
of this people shall thy curse be doubled, Hesorio; and what 
shall be done unto thee, O Asia? Not for thy forgetfulness of 
that dear love extended to thee, for which in exact measure 
art thou repaid, but for the havoc and confusion that thou hast 
wrought must thou account. Kneel!" 

The lightning sprang towards us and all was dark. Nor in 
words were these things spoken to us, but by the perfect com- 
prehension of Justice, which is of the all-understanding and all- 
seeing Spirit and is not biassed by deeds or manners nor bound 
by any fear of varying criticisms to pass its sentence upon the 
motive of every act. The only unforgivable thing is disobedience, 
whereby superior guidance is stultified. 

Sounds were in the atmosphere, sounds of grief and waiHng 
unutterably sad and mournful, but below reigned the silence of 
death and each man wondered if he were the sole survivor of 
a nation. Presently the darkness broke and the light of that 
last day of horror crept in over the prostrate multitude. Heads 
were raised fearfully, and soon, believing what they had seen 
to be the result of their furious revels, many shamefacedly 
arose, yet carrying within their souls a dread presentiment of 
coming doom. 

With a terrible anguish I raised up Azta, pressing her pas- 
sionately to my bosom while the bitter tears fell fast. 

"I cannot part with thee, my Love! Thou art all I have!" 
I cried, with intense agony ; *' O Hesorio, can nought be 
done ? ' ' 

The prince shook his head gloomily. Entering now from 
without the people thronged, leaning upon spears or the shoul- 
ders of others, waiting for some signal from Toltiah; while 
among the debris of that carnival of sin lay many, dead or 
unconscious from the effects of the wine and dissipation; di- 
shevelled women lying in their shameless nakedness with their 
drunken lords. One or two raved in madness, with bursting 

409 



ATLANTIS. 

eyeballs, and foam upon their lips, tearing, biting and shrieking ; 
and the daylight shone fearfully gray upon the assemblage. 

Toltiah arose, shuddering with dilating eyes. For the first 
time he turned in appeal to me, gazing with drunken orbs 
upon me in horrid terror, mad with excesses and fear and with 
his godlike perception fearfully keen. 

"Father," he said, with imploring sarcasm, " behold our plight 
which has come upon us. Canst thou not aid by thy power?" 

"■Fool!" I cried bitterly, *'and craven as well as fooll does 
not thy remaining soul rebel against appealing to one hitherto, 
unacknowledged and spurned.? Too unutterably late art thou 
who hast impiously challenged Heaven and now shivers beneath 
the lash. Begotten of sin, poor wretch, I, even I, pity thee 
yet cannot aid. Thine hands, Devil-directed, have pulled down 
ruin upon Earth, and Death usurps thy throne this day." 

He turned with impatience and wrath to the assemblage. 

"Come!" he cried, supporting himself heavily; "let us go 
and leave the gods to kill each other." 

But even as he turned the ground heaved, and the earth, 
moved irresistibly, burst the floor pavement and fell asunder, 
and down the abyss, buried in clouds of dust, fell tiles, bones, 
amphoras and shrieking people with clang and clatter. The 
gap closed with a sickening movement, and a sound, that caused 
faces to blanch in awful horror, issued from it. The end wall 
crumbled away in ruinous masses, and all the walls bulged 
fearfully and rent themselves with that great movement, 
while scarcely the four columns in the centre of the hall up- 
held the ceiling that leaned in broken planes upon their different 
lengths. 

A strange weird sight broke upon all eyes, where, through 
the tremendous gap caused by the fallen wall, the temple of 
Zul leaned from its height, dark against the gray dawn. From 
every aperture and long rent in the shadowy mass streamed a 
blood-red light, dull and awful, and as all eyes turned upon it 
the topmost and second storeys fell in a cascade of ruin into 
a mist as it were of blood, where a great released brightness 
illuminated the dust of that fall. The third storey fell, leaving 
the wreck of its columns and vaulted roofs standing, and the 

410 



"MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN." 

walls of the fourth storey which faced the palace fell in ruins, 
carried away by the torrential masses from above so that the 
central chamber was exposed in which were the dark mysteries 
of Neptsis and Zul displayed in fire upon its walls. From the 
square space in the midst shot up a strange dull-red flame, and 
methought there were awful figures which moved in dismayed 
fashion within the brightness around. And crowning the horror 
sat the stern majesty of WAEF, the Accuser, looking upon the 
ruin of Earth ; sublime in immovable majesty, awful in inflexible 
testimony. 

Azta shrieked in my arms, hiding her face in my bosom, not 
wishing to longer view that portentous god and those awful 
ruins where, flung afar, the golden fire-tower gleamed amid the 
dark heaps. Protected by all my diminished power she had 
no hurt upon her body, but in her mind was helll And to add 
terror to terror the two great lions which guarded the Hall of the 
Throne came bounding with broken chains among the people, 
half-starved and of ferocious appearance. Unheeding all else, 
they leaped straightly to the dais and with a great spring hurled 
themselves at once upon Toltiah. The mighty being fell beneath 
their weight, and with a roar one of the brutes smote the 
grand Solar crown from his head. Azta with a shrill scream 
of anguish leaped forward and attacked the brutes with a dagger, 
but before she could avail and before I could hasten to the 
rescue they bounded off" among the panic-stricken people, biting 
and roaring savagely, disembowelling with tremendous blows 
and bearing all before them. 

But Azta cast herself by her so strangely regarded offspring 
in a passion of anguish. She gazed with madness in her eyes 
upon his countenance and shuddered with a dreadful moan as 
she perceived that his skull was broken, blood and brains 
oozing in ghastly flux between the shattered bones and among 
the ruddy masses of hair. His hand fell as lead from her 
horrified grasp, and with a panting cry she fell as one dead. 

I gazed wildly around over the poor wretches fleeing from 
that place of death, and saw how Iru rent one of the beasts 
with his godlike strength and that the other lay pinned to the 
earth by a spear. What would happen now r Too well I knew 

411 



ATLANTIS. 

there was no escape from the pronounced doom, yet could not 
my power prevail aught to save this one who lay unconscious 
at my feet? 

Nezca moved off last with measured strides. " Fare thee well 
for a space, Prince of Heaven/' he said, raising his great spear 
in salutation towards me: "We shall meet again when these 
have passed." 

He was gone, all that remained now were dead, save only 
Azta and myself. Upon my heart lay an icy horror. "For 
you also are words spoken that cannot alter," Yet not even 
now for myself I feared, but I knew that if my Love loved 
me not we should be parted for ever; and the thought bowed 
me beneath its weight of agony with a torture that would have 
annihilated me could I but have died. In an agony too keen 
for words I stood in so fiery a hell of suffering that my soul 
fainted within me. 

Monarch of the dead I stood ; my murdered victims ! Around 
me they lay amid mounds of debris of earth and masses ^f 
masonry, dead by the beasts, by their fellows and by their own 
excesses, dead in their formidable might of sin amid stripped 
bones and smashed amphoras, with their mantles and armour and 
gems gleaming between the dusty ruins from which the painted 
frescoes reared themselves in mockery and the long golden 
mirrors stood out brightly. Earthworms wriggled over the 
debris, and scorpions and centipedes ran over the dusty remains 
of the feast. Portions of the ceiling kept falling with crashing 
and clinking sounds, piling up the ruins and revealing the sky 
hung with thick clouds rolling ominously. 

A great cry of despair came up from afar, tossed upon the 
icy wind like the wail of lost spirits. It came around the walls 
where the thousands who gathered for flight were augmented 
by all the starving population, who hoped by accompanying 
the more privileged ones to obtain some succour and escape 
with them. But they found all egress barred by a broad river 
of water, stretching as far as they could see in eddying, swirling 
currents, bearing upon its flood trees, debris, and corpses. 
Drowned animals floated feet upwards, their bodies swollen 
incredibly and emitting a noisome odour, but there were many 

412 



"MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. ' 

things that lived — sharks, sea-unicorns x and loathsome cuttles. 

Small wonder the poor creatures despaired! There was no 
escape from the horrors that were upon them, for from north 
to south the stream joined the ocean, eddying in waves that 
encroached more and more, and beaten into fretted points by 
drops of heavy rain that commenced to fall. A dark freezing 
mist covered the city with a dreadful night, and none knew 
what hour it was, neither were able to distinguish aught by 
reason of the gloom that dropped as a veil over the Earth. 
They ran up and down the walls, alarmed, terrified, panic- 
stricken : with wringing hands they shrieked, cursed and raved, 
yet dared attempt no crossing. 

And there were many who believed they might obtain salva- 
tion through the ships, and these, running swiftly, made for the 
harbour, not a few losing their way in the obscurity and re- 
maining among the streets and houses. And this thing spread 
as it seemed by instinct, whereby the thousands began to run 
all in one direction; the stronger getting before those who 
were weak and the starved ones, but all following the leaders 
because of the instinctive dread of being left alone. Yet there 
were many who understood not the reason of the wild flight 
and felt a vague terror that some dreadful thing was befalling, 
and numbers of the weak ones fell down and died, for the 
distance from the farther walls was very great. 

Beneath their feet the ground heaved, hurling hundreds down 
in suffocating masses, and shrieks rose from their parched 
throats. A great hght broke through the gloom, where from 
the crater of Zul shot up a column of lurid flame, and there 
was visible to many the three giant idols that sat within the 
volcano above the lake of fire, by reason of the walls having 
fallen in. Crowning the whole city they sat, immovable in 
the bright glare as though in Infernal conference, and all per- 
ceiving them shuddered. Yet in the 'light two gamblers sat, 
with eyes only intent upon the dice, regardless of the cold and 
mist and rain. 

There approached the patter of the sandals, by twos and 

a. Probably swordfish or narwhal. 



ATLANTIS. 

threes and dozens and scores, and from far distances sounded 
the rustle of the myriad-footed rush. And then above all rose 
an appalling sound that reached even Azta's dull ears and 
caused her to lean upon me, trembling, her eyes, widely open, 
gazing with a dreadful dark void from her ashen face. 

The great reservoirs and the huge tank of the Baths had 
burst and suffered a mighty wave of water to leap like a solid 
cataract down the terraces, sweeping all before it and carrying 
hundreds of the fugitives to whirling destruction. As flies 
before a hurricane they went, dashed against impediments and 
flung headlong, crimsoning with their blood the Hquid mass 
that swept a path of ruin from the hill of Zul to the battlements, 
and through, plunging with a torrent of foamy uproar into the 
waters that surrounded the city. 



414 



CAP. XIV. 

THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. 

With dismay the leaders stayed their flight for an instant, 
and then, panting and perspiring in mortal terror, again made 
for the harbour. In their faces were hurled storms of spray from 
great breaking waves, which in their fury filled the harbour with 
wreckage. Of all the ships only the Tacoatlanta was left, plung- 
ing wildly in the midst of floating overturned rafts, coracles 
and little boats ; the battered wreck of one of the other warships 
rolling like a great animal against the waterway, of which onl)' 
the top step was above water, and that one being washed con- 
tinuously by surges that dashed in over the reef beyond. 
Sheets of foam drenched the crowding people that thronged 
down to the boats, and against the darkness hanging like a 
veil from the clouds rose masses of wan spray, leaping over 
the rocks near the shore, in whose holes and crannies lived 
dreadful sea animals, and at times dashing over the crater of 
Zul, which burst into clouds of steam at each contact. 

Farther out, flowing sullenly under a heavy rain, the waves rolled 
in long gray lines to the shore, flooding the lower lands completely 
and breaking in thunder against the clifis; but, as animals in 
their terror, and preferring the perils of the waves to the horrors 
of the land, the crowd rushed to the waterway, the leaders 
hastening in order to obtain possession of the ship and get out 
to the centre of the harbour to await events, warned by the throngs 
behind them of the deadly danger they ran. Nevertheless, so 
great was the panic that there was no halt or stay, and in a 
frenzied mass the people debouched on to the platform, none 
giving heed to friends or relatives in that great rush for life. 

Hoetlan was the first, and recognising the danger of hauling 
the boat up to him, dashed through the waves, holding by 

415 



ATLANTIS. 

wreckage, and clambered up. There followed him closely a 
slim youth and a butcher from the Bazaar. The Tzantan with 
a slash of his sword severed one of the moorings, but scores 
of people began to clamber up, holding to the bulwarks and 
clutching trailing rigging. Yet there were no children to add 
to the horrors of that wild rush, for long before they had been 
left behind, struck down, deserted, or trampled under foot by 
the racing crowds. 

And among them were persons of rank, high captains and 
Lords of territories, and a few great ladies, unrecognisable in 
their dishevelled array. 

"Make way!" screamed one, trusting foolishly that her rank 
would secure a place ; " make way ! I am the Queen Axazaya 1 " 
But some pushed her down and she fell into the water; 
whereon, rushing through the waves, a black shark leaped, 
sweeping some refugees from their feet and vanishing with her 
amid screams of terror. 

Now scores of frantic hands clutched the ship's side, whicb 
by reason of the multitude already on board leaned dangerously 
and offered a large side to the outer waves. Those within her 
slashed at the unhappy wretches, and as the last restraining 
rope was severed at length the vessel began to move from the 
waterway under the hauling of those on the anchor ropes. 
But clinging hands held still, and others clutched them ; and, 
falling upon the side, a wave rolled the great ship so that the 
gunwale dipped down, plunging the miserable beings below the 
water, and by the movement causing to fall the stowed sails 
and bursting the lashings of the catapult which was amid- 
ships. 

Relieved from the overbalancing weight for a moment by the 
water floating it thus, the Tacoatlanta rose with a heavy roll 
nearly upright; but the weight pulled from the waves caused 
her to dip again more violently than before, and those who 
would have cut away the strangling mass had enough to do to 
save themselves. Long dark forms threshed through the water 
as the fierce sharks swept towards their prey, and the waves 
were topped by triangular fins. 

The ship rolled up once more, and then, as with a sickening 

416 



THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. 

lurch the catapult and all loose things fell down the slope 
caused by the downward roll, the people within fell down over 
one another headlong into the waves heaving red and terrible. 
For an instant, so compact was their mass, it appeared as 
though they struggled upon a flooded pavement, but they 
spread abroad and sank, and the red water rose among them. 
Some sharks, overwhelmed and surrounded by their victims, 
leaped up through them, falling upon the dry and solid masses 
and struggling ferociously until they fell through. 

Nor availed the godlike power of physical man where the 
Tacoatlanta wallowed, the farther bulwark high above water, 
the hither supporting a struggling mass to which breaking 
waves, dashing over in a falling mass of foam, added confusion 
to hideous confusion. Solid red patches rose up horribly through 
the water, breaking into pink froth upon the waves, above which 
tossed a forest of arms, legs and heads of the weltering wretches 
who strangled and fought, those who wore harness sinking like 
lead when support was removed. 

The crowds at the waterway watched with blanching faces. 
A silence was upon them and they stood as though carved 
in stone, gazing on the frightful scene before them. The tangle 
of rigging, the floating spars and oars and enveloping sails, 
the seething mass of humanity, appeared* like a vision of 
dilirium, and among the writhing masses the long gleaming 
forms of the terrible fish dashed swiftly. Gorged and satisfied 
they bit right and left, gouging out bloody masses of flesh 
and severing limbs from trunks, while, below, the congers 
and water-snakes tore the unhappy beings, their graceful forms 
at times appearing above the water. Limbless bodies were 
tossed about and a headless trunk was pushed upright high above 
the rest, a hideous sight with the spouting blood. From far 
the sharks crowded the harbour eager for prey and attracted 
by the scent of blood, until it appeared to be alive with them; 
and the great warship, full of water, came floating up to the 
steps of the waterway in ghastly mockery. 

Within her, as it were in a floating tank, a small shark 
dashed about, until a poulp, entrapped in Hkewise and annoyed 
by its rushes, seized it in a grasp from which there was no 

417 27 



ATLANTIS. 

escape, while another serpent-Hke arm fell writhing among the 
spectators and drew a victim to a dreadful doom. 

The crowds broke up, and through every street the people 
ran bewildered and terrified, shuddering at the increasing thun- 
drous roar of the surf upon the cliffs, that sent the icy spray 
flying afar over the city and at times eclipsed the light from 
Zul. With the exertions of the past few hours, the chill fever 
and starvation, hundreds lay dead and dying all around, as 
now within the palace the flying scud drifted and fell, pattering 
among the ruins and raising little clouds of dust. Upon the 
dais, surrounded by desolation and death I stood, while Azta, 
returned to her wild grief, sat with her head buried in her 
arms, holding Toltiah's cold hand. From her head I had taken 
the heavy crown, I, who had placed it there above the sceptre 
of the V^engeance of God; and now not a sound or a move- 
ment betrayed the fact that aught lived within that place, and 
the sounds of the ceaseless rush of feet, the moans and cries 
of the populace and the noise of the tempest were borne to u^ 
softly, as of a dream. The dreadful glow from the volcano 
quivered through the mist, and there sat that conclave of silent 
figures majestic and immovable within its mouth, in grim 
semblance of judgment upon the city. 

" Wilt come with me ? " I asked of my Love, yet scarcely recognis- 
ing my voice in that hoarse utterance, longing to take her away. 

She shook her head. The time passed on, yet we moved 
not, we who lived, each possessing the knowledge of unrewarded 
faithfulness, yet with the determination thus to remain to the 
uttermost instant. In dumb despair I stood, unable to think 
or pray ; for I, who had lavished a love upon this Love of 
Earth that should have been rendered but to God, would not 
now cry to that forsaken One to aid me. And of Earth, it is 
the nobler nature that flies to God in joy, and not in sorrow ; 
for when all is dark the recreant soul cries for aid in its ex- 
tremity to a Heaven that is all forgotten in the bright day, 
but the noble nature praises the generous hand that it will not 
unworthily petition. Yet a wild prayer burst from the depths 
of my heart that Omnipotence would help the woman I loved 
not wisely but with such devotion. Let me bear her punish- 

418 



THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. 

ment, but let her go free ; for it was through me, and me alone, 
that this had come to pass. 

Yet there was no sign. The rain poured down and the great 
hall was awash, streams occasionally bursting with a rush through 
dams of wreckage and carrying the debris swirling to another 
level where pools were formed by water that trickled in all 
around the walls, in which the livid and swelling corpses rocked 
hideously. Azta noted nought as she sat in a stupor with a 
dull weight of aching horror on her that numbed her senses; 
she, who had seen the mysteries of the worlds, who in daring 
wantonness had stood face to face with God and laughed. The 
splendid dark golden masses of hair flowed in their glory among 
the strings of pearls and gems, but she had cast down the 
sheltering mantle from her head and the rain fell unheeded 
upon her. Raising Toltiah's buckler I held it above her so that 
the water fell from it in a pouring cataract around, and at 
times the lightnings played upon its vast surface as thunder- 
storms added their majesty to the elements. In sad mockery 
the gems which Azta wore gleamed and flashed, splendid 
glitterings of bright coloured lights that were so contrary to the 
desolation around, and yet seemed to find weird company in 
other glancing points where from dusty pools came the reflected 
lightning from great gems that ornamented some poor Clay 
half-submerged. Or a bright circle of light upon the buckler 
of a once godlike chieftain, smitten all amazed in his mortal 
frailty, who perchance esteemed himself imperishable in his 
arrogance and dared to face Heaven in blasphemy. 

From very far off came a dread sound and presently the 
earth rocked, and as the fearful time crept on, a great fall of 
heavy spray sounded with a swishing hiss all around. What 
horror! what suffering! 

O to be free! 

To wrench from out our hearts 
The sad remembrances of days gone by; 
Past— ah, God! Lost! And ne'er shall come again 
Bliss that was ours for such a little while — 
Bliss that was given us but to destroy! 
O stars of light that mock us as we weep — 
Tranquillity that mocks our wild despair — 

419 



ATLANTIS. 

Agonies that may pass, hut to us now 

A burning lionor. 

NVilrl tears tliat gush from sorely stricken hearts, 

(Iroanings uf spirit, frenzied teeth that gnash 

Imjiolent in fierce agony of thought! 

\ever again'. Why was it given us 

To know the blessedness of those past days — 

'ilie awful misery of days that are — 

.\nd worse, of those to come r 

Creator! (iod! 

Hear us and lielp us of Thy love! Thy Lover 
Is it Thy L(jve.- And do we hear aright? 
\'eiigeance is sweet, sweet for intended wrongs, 
l!ut this were vengeance for invited sins — 
Sins we were made to do, and pleasant made — ■ 
O God! What vengeance upon helplessness! 



420 



CAP. XV. 

"BEHOLD, I WILL DESTROY." 

Meanwhile the other cities were in similar pUght, as, full 
of their own inhabitants, whose numbers were greatly increased 
by fugitives from hundreds of villages and great tribes of the 
plains who had fled thence from the terrors of the outlying 
lands, they waited in fear and trembling, dismayed by storms 
and earthquakes under whose influence they lay in panic. 

The crowded cities of Axatlan, which being near to the 
large volcano were always in danger of being overwhelmed 
with streams of lava, poured forth their refugees to the Atalan 
cities and crowded the capital, overrunning Chalac also. The 
Hilen river, swollen and turbulent, overflowed its banks and 
surrounded towns with inundating moats, overwhelming such 
as lay low, and by reason of this and the numbers of people 
requiring food that grew impossible to obtain, the horrors of 
famine lay upon all the land. 

Upon the streets and roofs of Talascan and the neighbouring 
cities the volcanic dust lay thick and dark, and furious blasts 
of icy wind swept the lighter particles far and wide. Earth- 
quakes had shaken the buildings and temples to their found- 
ations and filled the people with consternation. In every street 
lay piles of ruin hidden under gray ashes until they appeared 
as huge dust heaps, from which the dogs and vultures dug out 
crushed corpses and devoured them. And believing the moun- 
tain Axatlan to be the cause of their woes, there was talk of 
deserting the ill-favoured land and going down to Tek-Ra, to 
rebuild the capital and settle there. Yet the people of Talascan 
loved not to leave their beautiful city, and though many towns 
around them were deserted for the higher-lying lands of Tek-Ra, 
they still remained, notwithstanding that Zul, as Lord of 

421 



ATLANTIS. 

Fire, ravaged the land. Holocausts had been offered to him 
in vain, nor to any cessation of his wrath had his dread altars 
run black with bloody sacrifices. And even He who told me 
of these things spoke with disapproval of the horrible excesses 
that o'ertopped in wickedness even those of Zul. 

In lesser degree the tempests terrified them, sweeping over 
the city with fearful violence and damaging the buildings, while 
they flooded the streets with water, The shipping by the 
waterway was wrecked or carried away, and the river-god Nop 
was implored for clemency in vain on behalf of his favoured 
city, around which he spread a watery desolation far and wide. 
Through every street ran a stream hidden under floating scoriae 
and volcanic dust and no man dared venture abroad, so that 
the famine became great and many died of it. With feelings 
similar to their brethren of Zul they cast down their graven 
images, hurling abuse and sacrilege upon them and burning 
those of wood. All the dogs and such animals as could be 
obtained for food had disappeared, and in dread and secrecy 
the miserable people began to devour their children, believing 
that in thus saving their own lives they prevented suffering to 
those who would have at least to die some day. Yet this 
platitude but extended to the slaughtered ones, for each mortal 
believed that himself would never die. 

Bands of murderers satisfied every lust with violence, causing 
fierce reprisals and bloodshed, and at length the whole city 
appeared to be threatened with self-annihilation, A sulphurous 
night hung above it, illuminated by the glow from the nearer 
volcanoes and the gleam of bright lightning ; the rain and 
hail began to fall upon them in torrents of water, and a hum- 
ming roar that silenced all else bespoke the advent of that 
dread tornado that had buried ICmarna and many cities and 
villages that lay in its path, and which fell upon the drowning 
city with the horror of a bursting world of waters below which 
the disturbed Earth rolled in frightful convulsions. Scores of 
warriors, attracting the lightnings to their metal-clad bosoms, 
were blasted and calcined; and piteous shrieks were carried 
by the wind like voices of demons in the air, as with falling 
ruin many half-broken structures fell, arches, columns and great 

422 



"BEHOLD, I WILL DESTROY." 

Stone idols toppling into the splashing flood. Streams, dammed 
by wreckage, began to force torrential passages, carrying with 
them dreadful streaks of blood and tangles of entrails and 
whirling masses, and from the lurid roof of clouds a funnel- 
shaped trunk swung over the centre of the city, to which, with 
a fury of tempestuous power the winds gathered and swept all 
before them with appalling force, whereby the grand temple of 
the Sun was hurled crashing upon all the buildings beneath. 
And now came swift destruction to the doomed city, as from 
the river in a seaward direction appeared through the gloom a 
vast nebulous veil moving towards it. This was a tidal wave 
approaching from the ocean, which sweeping with fearful violence 
through the Gates of Talascan and bearing within its world of 
waters the ruins of the towns of Reb and Hir as stones within 
a war-engine, advanced its swift front, higher than highest 
temple, upon the battlements, spreading over the flooded land 
with great velocity and irresistible power. 

With the sound of appaUing thunder the walls, torn from 
their deep foundations, sped forth with the wave-like bolts from 
the artillery of Heaven, and hurled thus, smote down temple, 
palace and column, that adding their masses in the forefront 
of that moving wall of death swept every obstacle before them. 
The lower part of the mighty wave was a mass of seething, 
dashing foam, broken into smaller waves that struck and recoiled, 
carried onward again by the power behind them; the foamy 
crest flew in a falling veil of spray all over the city, and its 
frothy sea reached the farther walls in advance of the devastat- 
ing mass beneath. 

Onward swept the tremendous bore, and when it had passed 
there was but a level expanse of water upon which no vestige 
of the doom of a great city could be read, although farther on 
were heaps of tossjng refuse that carried terror to the hearts 
of the crowded cities of Chalac and Trocoatla and the villages 
. of Tek-Ra and northern Axatlan, as, swelled by a thousand 
overflowing streams and the refuse of a hundred cities, the 
great flood lapped around their walls. 

Beneath the waters of a stormy river the ruins of Chuza 
were hidden from view, and within the whole path of that great 

423 



ATLANTIS. 

wave of the Ocean even such towns that lay upon hills were 
swept away or so surrounded that all escape was cut off from 
the inhabitants. Such as dared to attempt flight upon logs 
found themselves afloat upon an interminable sea agitated by 
violent currents and whirlpools and ever rising higher and higher, 
the air also being poisoned by the fearful odours of corruption, 
as corpses, swollen to bursting, floated upon the waves, dotting 
the watery plain with myriads of points. There were the huge 
bodies of mastodons floating in the company of human corpses 
and dead sharks, and millions of smaller creatures emitted 
poisonous gases from their rotting bodies. The sea-animals 
were the most odorous, some of them being of enormous bqlk 
and shape, floating like islands upon the expanse of water that 
the rain beat into fretted hollows. By such forests as remained 
from storm and wave these floating things collected in shoals, 
causing many hunters who had taken refuge among the branches 
to fall down unconscious and meet their death in the waters by 
reason of the effluvia. 

The territories of Atala, Axatlan and Tek-Ra were entirely 
submerged, and great regions in Chalac and Hava were flooded. 
The highlands of Astra had disappeared beneath the waves, 
sunk by earthquakes and landslips and topped by fathoms of 
vast)' waves, that washed the high walls of Zul, and all her cities 
save Surapa, which lay inland upon a hill, were swallowed up 
and drowned. 

Every hill appeared to become a volcano round which storms 
raged and thunders shook the Earth, while the clouds carried 
the reflected light from the eruptions far out over the waters, 
giving them a terrific appearance as of deep places of storms. 
It was all one dread night now, traversed by terrors of elemental 
warfare in which Death stalked, pitiless and devastating. Long 
before had the great tribes of the savage peoples fled to the 
West as the first signs of awe touched their instincts, flying 
before the horrors that stalked like the spirits of Furies above 
their conquered places and the doomed tribes of their conquerors. 

Tek-Ra had sunk beneath the waters, but the high walls of 
Aten and Lote still resisted the sweeping violence of the flood 
that had buried the low-lying villages and towns of Axatlan, 

424 



"BEHOLD, I WILL DESTROY." 

nearly all being along the Hilen. Driven to the higher storeys 
of mansions and temples by the deluge of waters, the thousands 
of these cities were plague-stricken by the stench of the floating 
carcases, and many in panic fled upon rafts, vainly hoping to 
find safety in some direction or another. But the greater 
numbers remained in terror and famine, reduced by dire distress 
at length to eating their own flesh and that of the least corrupt 
of the floating bodies, which, impregnated by salt water and 
putridity, brought on hideous maladies. Heavy rain, hail and 
snow poured down without ceasing, raising the waters rapidly ; 
earthquakes caused high storm-waves to break upon their walls 
and level them, and in many places the people ran upon the 
ruins, wringing their hands and cursing blasphemously. 

And of those which went abroad upon rafts some returned, 
dead and putrefying by reason of the plague that had smitten 
them down, while every outburst of the storms and waves 
developed new masses of debris and dead bodies, some, as their 
dress bespoke, being swept down by currents from the ruined 
cities of Hava. As the waters deepened unclean beasts appeared 
swimming in them, writhing slimy tentacles as a nest of serpents 
which grew from one head. Hydras flourished innumerable 
arms, and down in the south grew forests of sea- weeds shelter- 
ing countless fish and reptiles that terrified the wretched people 
by their numbers and by their rapacity, notwithstanding they 
had enough horrid food. Upon the larger floating bodies vultures 
sat, and by rending the inflated skins with their beaks caused 
the gases to escape so that they sank quickly ; and some few 
hunters were able to obtain certain sustenance by shooting these 
birds with arrows attached to Hnes, and also by ensnaring the 
fishy creatures that swam in the waters. 

A large volcano suddenly sprang up by Aten, whose eruptions 
were very great and shook the ground afar, x In the gloom the 

X Volcanic disturbances are very wide-spread in their terrors. We read in 
Prescott's "Conquest of Peru," chap, ix:— '-The air was filled for several days with 
thick clouds of earthy particles and cinders, which blinded the men and made 
respiration exceedingly difficult. This phenomenon, it seems probable, was caused 
by an eruption of the distant Cotopaxi, which, about 12 leajjues S. K. of Quito" — 
and. at least, double that distance from the narrator — -rears its colossal and per- 
fectly symmelrical cone far above the limits of eternal snow — the most beautiful 

425 



ATLANTIS. 

tall cone lifted her crest of flame, and the fiery waters appeared 
to burn with a glow of their own under the lurid reflections. 
In fancy the people perceived figures rise from the fires and 
others descend into them, and, smitten with a despairing terror, 
dared whatsoever would to fall upon them. 

And by reason of this violent mountain the volcanic dust lay 
many cubits deep in places, formed into a deadly mass by the 
waters, wherein people perished miserably. At length the far 
ranges of volcanoes beyond Axatlan became violently disturbed, 
communicating afar their travail, the glare from the fires lighting 
the clouds with fearful effect and rending them with electric 
explosions. The new hill burst into eruption more greatly than 
before, whereby huge rocks were hurled into the air to fall 
again in every direction ; while the whole great basin from the 
mountains to the coast was upheaved and shaken continuously, 
above which the high waves ran in conflicting currents from 
all directions. From Axatlan flowed a sea of fire, which meeting 
the waters exploded and burst into steam with a continuous 
and terrible noise, and, by reason of the coldness of the air above, 
causing a thick mist to hide everything. Dead fish floated in 
myriads, boiled and mangled, and soon a long ridge of lava 
rose through the waves like a dead peninsular from which 
other volcanoes arose. 

These, stretching afar, caused the unhappy people to believe 
that they would be engulfed in the fiery embrace, and hundreds 
preferred to risk death upon rafts, whereon they fled, regardless 
of destination and desirous but of escaping so dreadful a doom. 

and the most tenible of American volcanoes. At the time of Alvarado's expedition 
it was in a state of eruption, the earliest instance of the kind on record, (1534) 
tliough doubtless not the earliest. Since that period it has been in frequent com- 
motion, sending up its sheets of flame to the height of half a mile, spouting forth 
cataracts of lava that have overwhelmed towns and villages in their career, and 
sliaking the earth with subterraneous thunders, that at the distance of more than 
100 leagues sounded like the reports of artillery ! " 

Dr. Samuel Kinns in "Moses and Geology" tells us that during the last erup- 
tion of this volcano in 1741 the column of ashes and vapour is said to have risen 
a mile above the cone, and in 1533 a mass weighing 200 tons was hurled from 
it a distance of 10 miles. TJie volcano Coseguina in tlie Andes threw its ashes 
700 miles w itli a noise that v as heard 1000 miles away, after being dormant for 
26 years. 

426 



"BEHOLD, I WILL DESTROY." 

And what was Man to face the terrors of Heaven! Amazed 
he was as he perceived how powerless was his esteemed might, 
and how simply the body of Earth could be deprived of life 
without even a little power to save that which God had com- 
manded to cease. For these floating people there were the 
cooked fish ready to hand, yet for water they could but drink 
the nauseous rains that fell through the poisonous atmosphere 
and caused madness and fever in their veins. 

But their sufferings were cut short by an eruption of vast 
magnitude, as suddenly the waters burst through a thin crust 
of earth into the very heart of the near volcano. An enormous 
puff of steam and water mingled flew high into the air with a 
roar as the whole cone of the mountain lifted and toppled over, 
a tongued circle of flame leaping forth all around. The earth 
rose up, collapsed, and then with an uproar that rent the clouds 
a world of lava, rocks, earth and water was hurled into the 
heavens. The whole force of the explosion was concentrated 
on Aten, and up went temples and mansions, walls, towers and 
ruins in a flying horror of ruin, hurled by that awful bomb 
high and far. For long there sounded the heavy splashes of 
falling waters and debris mingled with red showers and human 
remains ; while a wave, raised by the vast upheaval, sped over 
the waters with fearful velocity, sweeping away half-submerged 
forests by its awful rush. Onward it went with more than the 
antelope's speed, a wall of moving force that stretched upon 
the right hand and upon the left for leagues, carrying before 
it the ruins of Bar-Asan, Katalaria, and Azod, and all towns 
and villages which lay before it. 

It struck the high towers of Lote, tearing them away, and 
bearing on its rushing flood the crumbling ruins and the bodies 
of struggling thousands, soon silenced in its vast suffocation. 
It smote Surapa upon its tall hill, and swept away such devastated 
cities of Hava as remained; passing thence from far Trocoatla 
with incredible speed, pregnant with its rolling masses and rushing 
majesty of destruction ; to cast its trophies with a seething roar 
at the foot of the walls of distant Zul, where it broke in a 
majesty of foam and flung its spray over the remains of the 
temple crowning the doomed heights of the last city of Atlantis. 

427 



CAP. XVI. 



THE TRAVAIL OF EARTH. 



Up to the distant mountains, where dwelt in sojourning the 
tribe of Noah, spread the waters, the pouring torrents of rain 
which the people could perceive upon the horizon increasing 
their volume, and long tidal waves carrying their flood up to 
the heights from which it never receded to its former level. 

Vet Mam, notwithstanding the escape which he had had from 
doom, (which great phenomenon had been seen of his people 
also, causing much fear,) became of a morose temper, gazing 
long over the flooded plain as though he looked for one who 
came not. But an occasional sickening odour borne from afar 
spoke plainly of death and corruption out beyond the foothilh 
and forests that stood as a barrier between themselves and 
myriads of dead things, while around them also was death, 
yet only of the lower creation, such animals of plains as, being 
driven up into the mountains by stress of circumstances, were 
unable to support their existence there and perished. 

The two lower storeys of the great ship were now inhabited 
by many animals, moved by apparently individual instinct tc 
seek shelter; the fitting survivals taking a refuge thus among 
human beings as a last escape from their hardships. 

The heavy rain and storms approached nigher, and of all 
their griefs for the unhappy people Susi's was the saddest, 
P^Tr all she grieved, but especially for such as she had known 
the high ones of Zul in whose company she had sojourned foi 
so brief a space. To beautiful Azta she felt a great yearning 
love and pity, despite the haughty air and indescribable coldnes5 
manifested by her, yet dared not pray to so awful an Omni 
potence, that had spoken the doom, to avert it. She had warned 
the proud Uueen in such manner as none other would have 
dared to, perceiving the great heart beating beneath a possi 

428 



THE TRAVAIL OF EARTH. 

bility of power that would have wholly enslaved some people, 
and had read, written upon the surface, the potent might of a 
current that flowed strong and irresistible in its great depths. 
She had been impressed with the feeling that in knowledge 
and power this wondrous woman was as an Angel, fallen in- 
deed, but never losing the bearing and power. For her, there- 
fore, she sorrowed with a woe the reason of which she could 
not herself define; but in the object of her grief recognising a 
potentiality that, if differently employed, could have saved a 
nation from its sins. 

Vast clouds, blood-red and terrific, hung above the volcanoes 
and formed an Infernal canopy around flaming Axatlan, where 
thunders swept around the abysmal darkness fearfully and con- 
tinuously in muttering wrath, and the electric currents lighted 
the vapoury dome. The rain fell luminous through the gray 
shadows like showers of swords, and great birds flew like 
wraiths of the storm with weird and ominous cries. There were 
many strange voices in the air, some of awful sound; of despair; 
of strange musical sadness. Fearful of such and greatly im- 
pressed, the families repaired to the Mexiah, inhabiting the 
topmost storey, because they dared not sleep longer upon the 
Earth soaked with spray and in danger of inundation. Shem 
had carried within all his collection of storied tablets and 
treasures, placing them in safety with care and zeal, and the 
food which was prepared for the unknown period was also 
stored up and the large water-vessels filled. The spray of the 
tremendous rains was blown by the winds to them, and of a 
night the forms of many beasts moved around them upon the 
earth, some recognised by their cries, which carried an accent 
of fear, proclaiming that their instinct spoke of approaching 
terrors. And they who watched upon the deck perceived many 
to ascend within the ship by the long gangway which reached 
from the earth, and enter in by the door : such as were already 
sojourning therein being penned up. And as each night the 
pressure of the terror became greater, the more wild or more 
timid animals were also constrained to seek a refuge, until upon 
one night came a great number which were perceived by the 
watchers upon the high deck. 

429 



ATLANTIS. ;^ 

There were many large creatures which climbed upwards, 
yet of what kinds could not be determined, save but by the 
indistinct sounds made by them. 

Occasional snarling sounds and grunts and strange whistlings 
came from the moving shadows, and once the subdued roar of 
a lion sounded with its majestic utterance afar. Snorts and 
hisses, moans and squeaks, mingled occasionally, but there was 
mostly only silence filled by sounds of shuffling and scrambling. 
It was a dark mysterious procession, from which for an instant 
a long vague object rose up even to the deck and then vanished, 
and wonderingly the watchers lay with their hands upon ready 
weapons and covered with cloaks because of the spray of the 
deluge and the cold wind. From behind them the dull, lurid 
glow from the volcanoes only made the darkness in front the 
more conspicuous and vague, but a great blue reflection of 
lightning that lay upon the clouds, as though a very bright 
moon had shone upon them, brought instantly into relief the 
ground, the gangway and the animals. 

There crouched horses, deer, cattle and many felines, their 
ears lying flat and fangs exposed in a sudden snarl of fear as the 
bright light startled them, and many other animals of all kinds, 
among which anacondas and smaller serpents recoiled with the 
swiftness of the light itself, hissing loudly, their movements, 
combined with the sudden brightness, causing a whirling ap- 
pearance to all around. Instantly a myriad gleaming eyes sprang 
into prominence, and on the farther boundary of a dark mass 
of animals stood many forms of vastness appearing as dark 
cliffs rising above a sea; some by the curling glories of their 
inmiense tusks proclaimed themselves mastodons, above their 
heads waving serpent-like trunks ; but there were others of huge 
hairy bulk, black and terrible, whose necks, tall as palm-trees, 
supported a serpent-like antlered head, now thrown low back 
over their quivering bodies. There was also a strange monster 
whose similitude none there witnessed before, and, not re- 
cognising, the eye was unable to define its outlines before the 
darkness came ; yet nevertheless the weird enormity of it filled 
them with horror. 

With the morning light all such as were harmful and noxious 

430 



THE TRAVAIL OF EARTH. 

were gone and not one remained, although no eye had seen 
and no ear detected the sign of their retreat. Upon the horizon 
Axatlan raged furiously and it was evident that an eruption 
of more than usual magnitude was taking place. Weary and 
awe-struck, all gathered upon the deck to witness what might 
happen, with prayer upon their trembling lips, perceiving how 
as a temple of blood-red flame the aisles and domes of cloudy 
vapour extended even to them, so that the surrounding scenery 
was as one Infernal hall where a throne of fire raised itself at 
the distant end in a horror of revolving flames : and as a curtain 
of luminous gold the pouring hail fell before all the scene. 
Around them an electric deluge heightened the waste of waters, 
where, rising from their deep fathoms, only the tops of hills 
and remains of lofty forests showed, surrounded by their putrid 
gatherings. 

Suddenly a far disturbance shook the floating storms where 
that spurt of watery steam that spoke the doom of Aten rent 
the tempests. The waves separated to right and left in steamy 
hissing spray as a ridge of earth, running swiftly as a serpent 
rising from the ocean, appeared above their troubled expanse 
with sounds of explosions and rendings. A cry of terror broke 
from all as the circling volcanoes burst into a fury of fire and 
uproar and the heavy clouds rolled into worlds of light, while 
with a stunning majesty of sound came to their ears the noise 
of the awful explosion that had hurled the proud city in wreck 
and flying horror to the sky. Great Axatlan trembled and reeled, 
vomiting blood-red matter, and then the high cone vanished in 
a bed of fire. 

In a silence of awe they watched, believing the world to be 
sinking in molten horror, themselves the last ones of its myriad 
children. A vast wave of water, high-rolling and foam-crested, 
flowing in the opposite direction to the watery destruction that 
had submerged Lote, appeared to seal the doom. The Earth 
shook and rolled in mystic space. Below, the moving waters 
ran in hills and deep valleys of fear; above, the tremendous 
masses seemed about to fall and bury them with their disturbed 
spheres, torn by lightning and thundrous tempests. The watchers 
fell down and cried to Heaven from the depths of the great 

431 



ATLANTIS. 

wrath of the vengeance; the mothers with their children fainting 
in fear below. The wind was now one great humming roar 
and the voices of the Doom were terrible and stupendous. 

The wave broke high among the mountains, and in its gray- 
green seas, reflecting in open places the luminous clouds, the 
bodies of poulps could be seen writhing in death's agonies, 
burned by steam and dashed upon the rocks. In the open 
waters the spotted sharks swam, their white bellies gleaming in 
sudden terrified rushes when whirlpools formed with a seething 
cone of suction as the waters fell into opening fissures. They 
swam in groups, full of terror, uncaring but to snap at floating 
bodies, and avoiding such places where the great poulps struggled 
in their misshapen hideousness with sliding shield-like eyes and 
gnashing beaks. Unrecognisable shapes, which had been carried 
with violence from the sea, grovelled in the depths, some 
spouting blood from their scalded heads to great heights 
and rolling on the disturbed waves, convulsed by the lower 
earthquakes. 

Ham, with pressing words, would have entered the vessel 
and closed the ports, as before his eyes ever appeared the figure 
of one who was buried beneath the flood because of him, and 
superstitious fears caused him to see her in every horrid wave ; 
but the sire with quiet words of authority forbade unseemly 
haste. 

Earth and sky were shaken by awful thunders ; and fireballs, 
flying from ebon masses that appeared almost solid, plunged 
into the violently agitated waves in volumes of steam and 
spray, sending watery columns to the clouds. The mountain 
basin in which the Mexiah lay was agitated continuously by 
subterranean eruptions; upon all hands could be heard the 
thunder of falling masses, as larger rocks, blasted by the light- 
nings, parted in bursting ruin, whose fall, echoed by every 
tortured defile of the hills, filled all space with an unceasing 
uproar. 

A continuous light caused the unhappy people to look up, 
and Susi, who had come to her husband, first perceived the 
two strangers returned. With a cry of joy she ran to them, 
falling upon her knees with her fair arms outstretched. 

432 



THE TRAVAIL OF EARTH. 

"O Sirs!" she cried, her sweet young face radiant with 
enthusiasm, "we are but mortals and the storms terrify us. 
Leave us not, for we know whom ye are and whence ye come, 
and in your hands are the directions of the God which we know 
and love." 

The greater spirit laid his hand very tenderly upon her head. 
"Kneel not to us, sweet one," he said: "yet are we verily 
come to thee and to thine to bid you have trust and faith, for 
in the eyes of the Lord Jehovah are you blessed, and He will 
preserve you. Arise, old servant of our Lord, and hearken to 
the word that bids thee persevere in thy righteous course 
which has found high favour in the sight of Heaven. For to 
thee is given the task of again raising thy race which perishes, 
(save thy family,) this day to the uttermost one, to which ones 
saved thou shalt preach their mission, which is, to go abroad 
over all the Earth and lead the heathen to knowledge of God. 
For a space. Fare thee well ; and fare you all well, O chosen 
of our Lord! We shall meet again. Get you within." 

They went forth, and as the prostrate people arose they 
beheld a very strange sight where for the last time on that 
scene the bright sun looked. Piercing the dreadful clouds, his 
arrowy beams shot bright and strong into the midst of the 
black inferno, filling a space with wondrous light, and casting 
upon the mists around the Mexiah a strangely beautiful tint, 
causing it to appear that it was surrounded by Heavenly glory. 
A zone of vivid green lay upon the blue Infernal halls, a 
splendour of colour that appealed to their minds in the voice of 
a chord of most perfect musical sorrow and hope, of unutterable 
depth and beauty, x And then it was gone, and headlong 
dropped the portals of horrid night, wherein, from a throne of 
flame set upon a rising floor of waters, Death executed the 
justice of God upon the land. 

Within the Mexiah the family of Noah prostrated themselves 
before their altar. A sound was heard of closing doors as the 
hatches were secured from without and all light was shut off. 



a Wouia this he the fust aiipeaiance of the Rainbow r See former reference 
to this phenomenon, footnote p. 323. 

433 ^ 



ATLANTIS. 

save such as came through the long screened windows which 
were beneath the roof for the draught of the air. The crisis 
was upon all. 

They felt the floor beneath them roll and tremble, and to 
some of them the thought came in all its fearful import that 
they were afloat upon an Ocean. Terrified sounds were heard 




PIERCING THE DREADFUL CLOUDS WITH WONDROUS LIGHT. 

faintly ; there was a lurch and a violent upheaval, causing them 
to cry out for fear. Roll came upon roll ; the vessel appeared 
to be whirled around and lifted up, cast down and driven 
violently in all directions, while overhead sounded a tremendous 
thud and swish that caused the whole structure to shake. Be- 

434 



THE tRAVAtL OF EARTJt. 

lieving themselves to be engulfed, they lay trembhng with bated 
breath as a vast concussion drove them sideways at terrific 
speed. 

A tidal wave of oceanic magnitude had broken upon the 
mountains and fallen over them, and the recoiling waters dragged 
them with irresistible violence to the inferno of whirling foam 
where the body of the wave rose, swirling and eddying above 
the basin. Over the falling mass a counter-current sped with 
tremendous velocity, bearing the Mexiah far out over the waters, 
where she floated in safety carried away to the east. 

On a level keel she sped, and her inmates knew she was 
saihng upon the Flood, while the muffled thunders and the 
heavy tapping of the rain on her sloping deck were now the 
only sounds audible. 

We may notice that no mention is made of the pillars of Seth, mentioned by 
Josephus, who appears to have mistaken the son of Adam for Seth or Sesostris, 
king of Egypt, said to have erected such a pillar in the laud of Siriad. Seth, or 
Set, whose name appears in Setee (Sethos), another Egyptian monarch, was also 
one of the gods of that country, at one time worshipped, but afterwards represent- 
ing physical evil. He is called Typhon by the Greeks. 

Neither do we find any mention of Turk, the son of Japhet, from whom the 
Turks claim descent. The historian Abou'lgazi Bahdur-Khan calls him the eldest 
son but he may have been the first one bom after the Flood. 



435 



CAP. XVII. 



THE GATES OF DEATH. 



Black horror brooded over Zul ; a horror that knew no gleam 
of hope or of mitigation, but remained waiting in anguish of 
terror for a certain doom and trembh'ng at every sound, believing 
it to be the herald of approaching dissolution. Above them spread 
the vaulted roof of thunder, alive with serpents of fire, and upon 
all hands stretched court beyond court of dreadful cloudy temples 
where the spirits of storms raged furiously above rolling waves 
pierced by the white columns of the hail. 

The starved and half-drowned thousands crouched all over the 
city among the dripping ruins, not caring even to congregate 
in numbers by fear of sweeping destruction, save where crowds 
gathered upon the steps of the red palace and remained in 
shuddering terror, drenched and freezing. Here and there, washed 
along in swirling streams, were recognised corpses from other 
cities cast by the storm-waves even in the streets of the capital. 
From the darkness they came, these poor waifs, carried upon 
the mountains of water that cast their dreadful trophies far and 
wide, to speak with their dead presences of a doom of vengeance 
falling and to come. 

But in some of the palaces yet standing men feasted on hidden 
stores of meat and wine and lay drunk and dying of desperate 
excesses, and songs, awful in their unheeding recklessness, were 
shouted in the face of Death. In such places men and women 
danced in hideous revelries, stabbing each other to the heart 
and shrieking curses and blasphemies to the last. But most 
sat in mute despair in the deluge of hail and rain and awaited 
what should come. 

A madman clambered up to where the fire-tower of Zul lay 
upon its heaps of ruins, and for the last time the great drum 

436 



THE GATES OF DEATH, 

rolled out its sonorous echoes, scarce heard among the noise of 
the elements. Azta heard it, crouched there upon the dais, and 
I heard it also. For both of us there was a voice in the deep 
booming sound, recalling the remembrance of a calm moonlit 
night; bidding a long, long farewell. A sob of agony burst 
from my soul, but Azta sat there as silent as the dead figure 
whose hand she held. My perceptions, more sensitive and deep, 
received a greater impression than hers ; and indeed, could mortal 
have felt that stab of keenest horror he would not have survived 
it, so bitter was it in its depths of sadness. Yet from her eyes 
ran two great tears that trickled over her arm and splashed 
upon the floor; tears of a sorrow that was nigh all too grievous 
for her to support : and well the gloom and the rolling thunders 
befitted the sorrow of two hearts panting in the throes of death, 
yet living. 

"Pray, pray!" she whispered in a fearful voice. 

"I cannot prayl" I answered her in such tones of despair 
I scarce believed the voice to be mine, recognising that although 
praise is ever meet and proper, yet prayer is sometimes neither. 

Without, the screams of storm-driven seagulls sounded like 
spirit- voices of the tempest; the high walls had disappeared, 
the lower terraces were under water, with a few tall buildings 
rising vaguely here and there and some broken columns showing. 
Before the rising waters the people were compelled to congregate, 
crouching above floating dead bodies and at times themselves 
washed away to die. 

A quivering cry of horror, echoing from afar and carried by 
the furious blasts of wind, proclaimed a fresh terror. Around 
them the waters suddenly sank with a seething rush, sucking 
the rolling bodies with them, and like dark fangs bared, sprang 
up the masses of ruins. Those who witnessed it believed them- 
selves about to be dragged into an opening chasm and fled 
upwards with white shrieking lips, while such as only heard 
the weird cry of fright cried out also from a sensation of unknown 
dreadfulness leaping upon them. 

The crowds facing the sea and those crouched upon the red 
terraces of the palace steps and among the gardens perceived 
rolling upon them from the ocean a long floor of moving water, 

437 



ATLANTIS. 

making the eye giddy with the rapidity of its onward move- 
ment ; as though under that vauhed roof, whose vast domes of 
thunder-clouds, upheld upon the columns of the hail, were 
wreathed with awful lights, spread swiftly a carpet of water. 

Meeting the cliffs with a force that threw the gasping spectators 
to the ground, it broke into an inferno of billowy, foamy 
masses, bounding, tossing, seething, dashing high and falling in 
thunder and vast hills of hurrying foam, rushing onward irresistibly 
and burying temple and monument, column and wall, palace and 
terraces. 

The vast ruins of the temple of Zul, upheaved and hurled 
forward with awful power, crashed down upon the terraces of 
the palace, sweeping the flights of stairways with their andro- 
sphinxes and the winding glories of columned porticoes and 
corridors and massy pylon towers in rending masses before them. 
Great trees of the gardens, torn up by the roots, flew forward 
and cleared the thronging victims from the terraces as though 
a besom removed them, and the largest buildings went dowii, 
before the rush of oceans. Divided by the tall hill and the 
mighty ruins of the palace the watery Horror passed ; but another 
wave followed, sweeping along with a high foamy crest and 
reinforcing the power of the first mighty destroyer, rolling the 
ruins of a vast city and the mangled corpses of its thronging 
population in a hurrying avalanche of blood and wTeck over 
the waters of the sunken land, mingling the great masses with 
others and crumbling them to fragments in an eddying sea of 
pink foam. 

One object rose above the fearful flood. It was the top of 
the crater of Zul, beneath whose protecting and dividing point 
stood a portion of the Imperial palace — the Hall of Feasting. 

There, unsheltered and alone, were we three upon the dais. 
The floor had been swept clear of debris and bodies, and only 
streamlets and cataracts occupied the space so lately filled with 
warmth and heaped up with luxuries. A long portion of the 
side wall still raised its pictured imageries, the golden mirrors, 
dimmed with salt spray, blank patches between the gaudy colours, 
still showing through the ravages of wind and wave. One 
torch still remained, twisted in its holder and dripping water 

43« 




REINFORCING THE POWER OF THE FIRST MIGHTY DESTROYER. 



ATLANTIS. 

from its soaked, half-consumed materials. Beneath it lay a few 
remnants of the roof and the hideous figure of a dead man. 
Then came the third wave, advancing swiftly under its long 
gleaming crest and. breaking upon the hill in two giant tongues 
of froth and spray, which, meeting, leaped all around the high ♦ 
dais with a giddy rush and then swept away the tottering wall. 
Azta looked up slowly as she heard the crash, and saw the 
coloured ruins melt away in the churning white foam. But a 
little way beneath surged the waters of a level ocean, flattening 
under the deluge from the clouds and lighted up, until it appeared 
like a sea of molten gold, by the electric glories, that, quivering 
in bright paths of light or reflected in dreadful gorgeousness 
on the black and indigo vault, showed where the rolling gates 
of thunder opened to a wonderland of cloudy horizons. Against 
this bright background stood the bare black crater, steaming 
but silent, the last point of Atlantis, but above it appeared to 
gather rolling spheres, and among them moved great bodies, 
bursting and filling the air with molten lines of electricity. 
Opposing forces met and exploded all around the cloudy Inferno, 
currents and cross-currents of furious wind tore them, and, 
reflected gloriously in the flowing water, the great serpents of 
fire sped crackling from point to point of thunder. 

There were skeletons in the water, now shimmering far down 
as they sank, and returning currents brought bones still covered 
with flesh, and bodies to which clung costly draperies floating 
with others bloated and emitting poisonous odours. Afar sailed 
a log of wood to which the last efforts of love had secured a 
fair young girl, now lying beneath it, because the branches had 
been smashed and broken off", destroying the equilibrium. Yonder, 
a broken raft still held some sad burden secured to its loosened 
fragments, and upon others were children held closely in a dead 
mother's embrace that no fearful shock had yet loosened : and 
lovers, faithful in death, floated secured to one another upon some 
frail support, to whose puny protection they had perforce trusted 
with a true and sad foreboding that for them no Sun would 
rise again. How touching a sight it was to see how love 
manifested itself thus, strong before the majesty of Death; and 
to me it came with a wild sorrow, for ever was I moved by 

440 



THE GATES OK DEATH. 

pain; and now was a great consolation in remembrances of its 
oft alleviation by me which it might not become me to have 
boasted then. But how dearly sweet now the memory of the 
full heart relieved that melted in tears of grateful joy, and the 
benedictions of eyes that spoke more than any words of Earth. 
Yet who could help Me? 

The waters were calm but for a long rolling swell and the 
occasional flurry of opposing currents. A little way out, just 
under the surface, lay a long phosphorescent form, shimmering 
and horrible. It was a great shark, and Azta felt in a strange 
manner that she had witnessed that scene before, and was 
fascinated as she gazed upon that motionless body and marked 
the head with its strange monstrous profile that resembled a 
fearful caricature of a human face. She, who had looked upon 
the mysteries, felt in her soul a fearful depth of fright, dreadful 
in its appalling vagueness. Before us both an infinite Hell of 
horror opened a space in which the mind groped blindly, agonized, 
bewildered and deathless. 

Around her fell a pouring torrent of waters from the sheltering 
buckler; upon one hand stood an undying, faithful love, stronger 
than death, proved dearly in this awful trial; upon the other 
lay the already gathering signs of corruption. Moved by some 
agency a golden circlet rolled from beneath the dais, and Azta 
recognised it as a bracelet worn by Huitza, remembering that 
she had noted how it flashed upon his arm that night that he 
died. How it came there she knew not, but by reason of its 
former ownership she seized it eagerly, perceiving within the 
massive ornament a flat disc; upon which gazing, with eyes 
blinded with tears, she saw in the light that it was one of her 
own gold plates that adorned her forehead-band. There upon 
it was the symbol of the butterfly, and others that spelled her 
name. 

Amazed by a shock more powerful than aught her soul had 
yet felt, she stared at the golden band. Stared with her eyes, 
her heart, her soul in a wild emotion that carried her far above 
the horror of an instant ago and swept her back to the torch- 
lighted hall, the warmth and grand cheer. She saw the fierce, 
rolling eyes of those haughty lords and heard, mingled with 

441 



ATLANTIS. 

their great roars of laughter, the wanton cries of women. The 
golden mirrors again flashed their dazzHng kaleidoscopes of 
colours like sunbeams between the harsh, gaudy paintings, and 
the torches flared and guttered. It was the lightnings that 
conveyed the effect to her mind, so realistic and life-like, but 
she thought not of that, nor knew it. She only dreamed on 
in that vision of blessed rest and permitted her spirit-eyes to 
wander over the gay happiness, albeit of sin. She felt again 
the pang of unrequited love, that appeared to instantly change 
to a sudden wild joy as she gazed steadfastly upon the great 
War-chief of Atlantis and then looked beyond to where sat the 
Emperor and the gleaming Guards. The music fell upon her 
ears ; sad, splendid strains of wondrous harmony, far beyond 
the performer's usual powers. She felt within her the pleasure 
of the mystic potency bestowed by myself, and looked over 
to the captain of her guards, Nahuasco, and next to Shar-Jatal 
with the hooked nose. He spoke softly to Sada, and she 
wondered what he said to her. There were Nezca, Mehir,, 
Axazaya, Azco, Toloc, Tua, Pocatepa — so many that she 
knew ! Old Na stood by her, and there was the young frivolous 
favorite, Gadema. The gems sparkled again as they had sparkled 
then, the wine flowed ruby red, the song and jest arose. She 
smiled in happy joy, her soul filled with delight, new and strange 
and thrilling. To her there was no gloom or cold ; in a beau- 
teous vision her Love had come to her in comprehensible form, 
and not as an illusive beauty that had ever faded beiore her 
dazzled understanding could retain It; startling by Its suddenly 
apparent grandeur and sublimity that compelled and fixed the 
awakened perception. Clear, perfect and all-mighty It stood, 
born of that vision to potential reality, but It had not the 
features of the one to whom her strange wild nature had clung 
so obstinately through good and evil and had been unable to 
forget. For now to her the brilliant chief appeared as a Devil, 
the incarnated power of her demon-father whose spells were so 
heavily upon her, and brother to herself who had conceived and 
brought forth the Curse of Atlantis; but her Love came in 
clear guise and filled her whole soul with complete and un- 
utterable joy, high and sublime, gazing from its pure heights 

442 



THE GATES OF DEATH. 

of intensity upon the petty ambitions of Earth, and raising her 
upward. 

Her eyes opened widely in delicious rapture and the glorious 
vision was past and gone. Before those yellow orbs, shining 
with a new light, the bright picture melted and faded in gray 
mists, and a sensation of deadly chill succeeded. Yet there 
remained the joy of love that nought could quench or lessen, 
the waters that now lapped the floor on which she sat frightened 
her not, and looking with her clear eyes upon Toltiah's dead 
face she perceived there such a dire expression of selfish crime 
and soulless sensuality that she dropped his hand, understanding all. 

The watery plain was alive with light to the mysterious 
horizon, lying now like a flat table of fretted gold on which 
were myriads of black spots. Nought but the crater of Zul 
broke the continuity of the black and gold of cloud and wave. 
Sometimes a tremulous heaving passed over the waters, a 
shinmiering movement imparted by submarine disturbances; the 
monotone of the thunder was like the voice of an organ that 
moaned incessantly, while as sad tears the luminous drops of 
rain fell upon the waters of the Flood. What strange peace I 
What gloomy majesty of subdued sonorous sounds and vast un- 
disturbed immensity of emptiness ! Yet it was very awful, and Azta 
felt that she was an intrudier in the presence of the wrath of God. 

A voice broke on her ear, terrible in its despair and the 
wild entreaty more felt than expressed : 

"The End approaches," it spake; "Nay, but for a power 
that wickedly defies Heaven it were here long since. Arise, 
an thou wilt not come with me, and bid me farewell, O my 
Love, nor forget one who gave up all for thee. I can protect 
thee no more." 

Azta heard the summons, and with a heart-rending bitterness 
came a pitiless intuition like a voice from those Heavens that 
were so dreadful, and she realized what I would never have 
told her— that I had perchance lost all hope of regaining 
Heaven for the preference of endeavouring to obtain an uncertian 
love of Earth. Her brows bent under the sorrow that crushed 
her beneath its weight and she caught at her throat as though 
she sufibcated. 

443 



ATLANTIS. 

She slowly arose, groping painfully with closed eyes. Under 
the glare of the lightnings her face looked like chiselled pure 
marble, lovelier far than the coloured mockery of her wondrous 
gems, and she stretched out a hand as one in a dream. Her 
breathing had ceased, her white lips opened slowly with a sad, 
fearful expression as her head fell backwards. 

My arm supported her and the outstretched hand rested in 
mine. I pressed a long lingering kiss upon her forehead and 
drops that were not of rain fell upon her face, hot, scalding 
drops of agony. Upon my shoulder her head rested, the glorious 
hair radiant with light. No breath moved the full white bosom; 
in that fearful moment she was as one dead, and raising my face 
to Heaven I lifted my voice in an impassioned appeal for her. 

''Almighty God!" I cried in agony, '*it is enough! Not 
for myself I plead, but for this one whom thou hast created. 
Forget not in Thy wrath who calls upon Thee, and for the dear 
love that thou didst bear in past times grant my petition and 
visit the sins of this one upon me, and me alone. Respect^ 
my despair and accept my confession and pardon one whom 
I have caused to transgress, O dread Avenger." 

I paused. My eyei undazzled by the lightnings wandered 
over the awful gloom. Beneath me I felt the ground tremble, 
and a long, terrible shriek broke from me in the soul's last 
agony as no answer came to my appeal. 

Azta raised her eyelids. She was dying, and her body had 
ceased to feel any sensation, but those glorious eyes still lived 
and sought mine. 

1 looked upon her face and saw it set in horror as she met 
my awful glare and perceived within my countenance the 
shadow of a doom that was courted for her; the doom of an 
undying soul. 

But. as she looked, the vision broke upon her mind, and 
within those yellow depths I read in that last moment the 
dawn of Love, the entire comprehension of all that had lain 
unseen within her grasp, the wealth of Heaven and her sup- 
jjressed consciousness. With a new awakening her eyes gazed 
into mine as they had gazed with such strange questioning of old, a 
long joyous look that searched as it had vainly searched before, 

444 



THE GATES OF DEA'III. 

and found and comprehended all at last. With a heavenly smile 
she threw her arms about my neck, her splendid beauty crowned 
with the ineffable majesty of death and a grand new life. 

"I have found my Ideal," she breathed joyously; "kiss me, 
my Love, my lord." 

What glory of happiness was mine ! There, alone, surrounded 
by the falling heavens and the drowning Earth, we two stood, 
and upon me came the perfume of her breath and her hair 
and the passionate flash of the rubies. What to us were the 
opening gates of Death? In that great life were we invulner- 
able and unafraid. O splendour of exalted joy that with its 
opal wing brushed away the weariness and sorrow of the terrible 
past and set us upon a throne of living grandeur 1 This Soul 
was mine, mine with its beauteous eyes and expanding sweet- 
ness, won at such dire cost; yet as I folded her to my breast 
and pressed my lips to hers with a long kiss of love I only 
grieved that I had sacrificed more than I had a right to. 

"O wonderful," she cried, as she lay in my arms and looked 
into my eyes; "that I should have been so blind. Kiss me 
again, l^eloved, nor ever again will I leave thee." 

What sweet intoxication was it that made us both rejoice in 
our new life and turn that moment of horror into a great 
pleasure? Queen of the Dead she stood, wondrous in unearthly 
majesty; for the first time she raised her voice in song, as an 
echo from far away that grew and swelled into an impassioned 
melody, in inspired words born of the new life within her soul ; 
and over the grave of Atlantis floated the Requiem of Earth, 
the Welcome to Love. 

Vision of joy more great than joy in seeming, 
Shadow of Love more sought than Love's bright day, 
Ever beyond all grasp and ever growing 
With each great step that talces us more astray. 

Height after height surmounted grows more barren. 
Step after step, each bringing greater pain, 
Hope after hope lies hardening in our spirits. 
Speaking of sliadows that we cannot gain. 

Where is our Love, sweet joy of joys Eternal ? 
Pleasure of pleasures pure as purest gold; 

445 



ATLANTIS. 

Life of our life, and Sun of that vast Heaven 
So empty that our hands could never hold. 

Where is our Love, that, fed by Love, would flourish 
Greater than worlds of sunlit visions bright — 
mi all our soul with vastest satisfaction 
Passed in mad dreaming of a dream's delight? 

Fire of bright fires enravishing our spirit, 

Subtly unseen by eyes that know it not: 

Come, though in Death thy dear embrace be welcomed ! 

In Death's dark valley welcome me, my Love! 

Her head fell back upon my shoulder, her arms clung about 
my neck. With her eyes she gazed upon me in all the mute 
eloquence of a perfect understanding and love, as a long sigh 
came from her heart. Then the light faded from her eyes ; 
one word gasped from her lips : " Forgive." 

/\nd thus passed Azta, once ruler of Atlantis, last of all 
those thronging crowds that had stood before her there where 
the waters flowed. But I remained alive, supporting her to 
the last. 

It came in thundering majesty. The tall hill sank deep as 
the vast crater opened and the waters poured in ; and then 
earth, air, sky and flood were rent by an explosion that lifted 
a mass of liquefied stratas with a frightful upheaval. Up went 
hill and terrace, foundations and walls, masses of masonry and 
human remains, fishes and animals in one awful blending of 
torrential horror, falling in a mighty wreck, continued by single 
falling masses and great splashes whose sound lasted for some 
while as descending waters and stones fell far and near to sink 
to a level buried fathoms deep, forming the bed of a great 
ocean. 

Waves ran in all directions and the sound of a great sigh 
floated over the waters stretching level and unbroken to the 
horizon, the only thing that broke their continuity being the 
Mexiah as she floated in that bright night of horror over the 
grave of a nation, bearing a tiny remnant of it that should 
go forth again and spread over all the world. 

FLMS. 
446 



APPENDIX. 



§ I.— Concerning the existence of the semi-mythical island of 
Atlantis there appears to be no definite information, and it is 
probable that there never will be; for even could we find its 
whereabouts stated, the geography of the world has altered 
since and would render such statement of no avail. In the 
angelic narrative we get no information as to where it was 
situated, and as there was no reckoning by latitude and longi- 
tude in those days we have to content ourselves with the name, 
a name that we have often heard of and placed among the 
myths without thought or reason. We cannot locate this land 
by any climatic hypothesis, because we find the climate under- 
going apparently a total change in its latter days, possibly 
even heralding the glacial epoch, (§ 6), but as to probable 
location see § 2. 

§ 2. — All very ancient legend and the most rudimentary his- 
tory, the vague allusions of Plato, Aristotle and Seneca, speak 
of a country in the Western Ocean, which would scarcely be 
likely to be the distant Americas; and I think we may accept 
those legends as to a land existing in what is now the Atlan- 
tic Ocean at about the period discussed in § 4, remembering 
that after all legend is oral history and starts with some found- 
ations. This land, stretching from Florida, probably included 
above-sea portions of Europe and of Africa, the latter supposed 
to be the birth-place of the Adamites; (see note, end cap. 
XX., lib. ii). All theories as to what was land and what was 
water at those remote epochs must be more or less suppositious, 
and as geological results are not at all analogous we cannot 
say for certain what has been, and we may remember Darwin's 
words: — "I look upon the geological record as a history of 
the world imperfectly kept and written in a changing dialect; 
of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating to 
only two or three countries, of this volume only a short chapter 
here and there has been preserved, and of each page only here 
and there a few lines." 

447 



ATLANTIS. 

>/ 3. — Truly, an examination of the bed of the Atlantic Ocean 
does not seem to indicate a sunken land over which a sea more 
or less shallow flows. Indeed we learn that, from the appear- 
ance of the continuity of animal life on the Atlantic sea-bed 
from the Cretaceous epoch to the present time, that the great 
basin was practically the same as now at that far back later 
Secondary period ; but although Sir Chas. Lyell points out the 
apparent fact of volcanic formation in a deep ocean, there 
are eminent naturalists who hold the theory that the Madeiras, 
Azores and Canaries are the last remaining points of a great 
submerged land connecting them with North Africa and the 
West of Europe. The earliest eruption according to Sir Chas. 
Lyell would have taken place in the later Miocene period, 
which would correspond with my theory as to the period of 
Atlantis (g 4). 

(I; 4. — The theories as to the period of Atlantis, the Glacial 
epoch, and the evolution and creation of Man, are mutually 
dependent upon one another, and can hardly be separated. 

I place Atlantis in the Pliocene epoch, just before that of 
the Glacial, by these arguments : i , the creation of Adam ;, 
2, the hlood. 

I. The creation of Man is mentioned in two places, Gen. 
i. 26, and ii. 7 ; and in this second place he receives the breath 
of life and becomes a living soul. This man was Adam ; 
Gen. ii. 8. But there were men before Adam ; and as there 
is too much in the evolution theory to be overlooked, as we 
shall see later, (^ 23), we may remember that Prof. Ernst 
ILxckel says that the period during which the evolution of the 
anthropoid apes into ape-like men took place was probably the 
last part of the Tertiary period, the Pliocene age, or perhaps 
the Miocene, its forerunner. Then, I think, these pre-Adamite 
men having sufficiently evolved from a lower form to surpass 
all other animals in the needful artribiites, a perfect man was 
created, of what powers we are not fully informed : and this 
would be at the end of the Pliocene epoch. And, says A. W. 
Buckland, in full support of my theory of there being such a 
land of Atlantis at such a period submerged by a cataclysm 
of the Glacial epoch following, " the missing links between men 
and apes, if existent, probably lie deep down in oceanic mud, 
and therefore their discovery is more than improbable ; for if 
we would trace man back to his origin, we must imagine a 
world geographically quite unlike that we inhabit." Then, 

448 



APPENDIX. 

when the Adamites increased and multiplied and the beauty 
of their daughters tempted the sons of God to stray, so that 
all became confusion, the cold winds ushered in that tremen- 
dous change which passed over the world, and the land of the 
ancient legends was erased by the waters of the Flood. 

2. I take this great cataclysm as one of the results of 
such a change as the Glacial epoch, following the Pliocene, 
and again I quote Buckland in support. In his "Anthropological 
Studies" he gives a list of French and English remains of 
animals found in caves, seeming to show continental condi- 
tions . . . and "with the exception of the mammoth, beaver, and 
reindeer, the whole fauna seems to show a climate warmer than 
the present. If then we take this fauna to represent a contin- 
ental period, one of upheaval, we are lead to a conclusion 
contrary to most geologists — that the Glacial period was one of 
subsidence, that as the land became elevated, so did the temper- 
ature rise also, so as to become suitable to the manuals of 
tropical climes, whilst the reindeer and beaver, which, it may 
be remarked, are few in number in English caves, may repre- 
sent the vanishing fauna of a; past era of Arctic cold 

Whether the caverns were occupied in pre- or inter-Glacial times 
it is difficult to decide ; but it is certain that they were fre- 
quented by Pleistocene animals, and by man, before the character- 
istic Glacial deposits of this area were accumulated. 

The natural conclusion is therefore that the caverns were 
occupied by an early Pleistocene fauna, and by man, anterior 
to the great submergence indicated by the high-level marine 
sands, and therefore also before the deposition of the so-called 
great upper boulder clay of this area. As there is no evidence 
against such a view, it may even be ligitimately assumed that 
the ossiferous remains and the flint implements are of an earlier 
date than Glacial deposits found in this area." 

\ 5. — It would appear analogous reasoning that the terrible 
catastrophe which would agree as to period with all that I have 
stated should be caused by a vast change over the world, (see 
note, p. 323, lib. iii). Before that we cannot tell what it was 
like, but it was different in many ways, climatic as well as 
<• geographically quite unlike that we inhabit." For Buckland 
says — " Another curious fact which has attracted much attention 
of late is, that recent Arctic explorations have proved incontest- 
ably that a mild semi-tropical climate once existed within the 
Arctic circle, for not only have coal and coral been found 

449 '9 



ATLANTIS. 

within the most northerly lands discovered, but the fossil flora 
of these lands is found to include plants semi-tropical in character, 
and which could not thrive or produce seeds with the amount 
of light now received in those regions, even if they could by 
increase of habit have borne a considerable increase of cold." 
The Arctic regions would now indeed seem to be passing 
through their first Glacial epoch. 

I 6. — Thus Buckland. And that the Flood was a very real 
and very terrible event is supported by Lenormant in his "Les 
Origines de THistoires", the translation of which I give: "The 
long review, which we have just read, warrants our affirmation 
that the story of the Deluge is a universal tradition in every 
branch of humanity, with the exception, however, of the black 
race. But a remembrance everywhere, so precise and so similar, 
cannot be that of a myth capriciously invented ; no myth, religious 
or cosmogonic, presents this universal character. It must be 
the memory of a real, and terrible, event, which so powerfully 
impressed itself upon the mind of the ancestors of our race as 
never to be forgotten by their descendants. This cataclysm 
took place near the primal cradle of humanity. See note, end, 
cap. XX., lib. ii. 

§ 7. — What pre-Adamite man was like we do not know, but 
believe him to have been a huge ape-Hke creature, similar to 
those of cap. viii., lib. ii. Of such probably was Cain afraid 
(Gen. vii., 14). Although of course the family of Adam by this 
time would by itself have comprised a great mumber of people — 
Dr. Kinns thinks 20,000 01, and of such were probably the 
mysterious Zuzim, Rephaim, Emim, Horim, Avim and Anakim 
of Palestine encountered by the Israelites. 

In America, too, we learn of the Quinames or giants, who 
occupied the valley of Mexico before the arrival of the Nohoa 
tribe of the Olmecs, and dwelt in the mountains around for cen- 
turies afterwards. According also to a legend La Puebla was 
inhabited by giants at the time of the arrival of Quetzalcohuatl, 
and that the pyramids of Cholullan had been built by them an 
unknown time back. 

These being pre-Adamites would show that the Flood was 
no more universal than it had need to be, and was probably 
only for the purpose of blotting out a race whose dreadful 
powers overran proper limits. 

X. "(jraven in the Rock," Vol. I., p. 86. 

450 



APPENDIX. 

'i 8. — On the long and short skull theory — dolichocephalic — and 
brachycephalic — French anthropologists of this school hold the 
origin of man to be in the Pliocene or even Miocene ages to allow 
time for the two types ; although authority for this is doubtful (and 
see § 1 6.) But Buckland tells us that implements of Man are found 
associated with the bones of extinct mammalia which carry back his 
antiquity with certainty to the close of the Glacial period, if not 
to its commencement. Agassiz estimates human remains found 
in the Florida reef to be 10,000 yrs. old; and Mr. Dowler found 
a skeleton beneath four buried forests in the delta near New 
Orleans said to be 50,000 yrs. old. Man's association with the 
mammoth would take him back to the Pliocene group. 

§ 9. — Concerning archaic Man we read in The Races of the 
Old World that the mind is lost in astonishment in looking 
back on such a vast antiquity of human beings. A tribe of 
men in existence hundreds of thousands of years before any of the 
received dates of the Creation 1 Savages who hunted, with 
their flint-headed arrows, the gigantic elk of Ireland and the 
buffalo of Germany, or who fled from the fierce tiger of France, 
or who trapped the immense clumsy mammoth of northern 
Europe. Who were they? we ask ourselves in wonder. Was 
there with Man as with other forms of animal hfe, a long and 
gradual procession from the lowest condition to a higher, till 
at length the world was made ready for a more developed 
human being, and the Creator placed the first of the present 
family of man upon the earth? Were those European bar- 
barians of the Drift period a primeval race, destroyed before 
the creation of our own race, and lower and more barbarian 
than the lowest of the present inhabitants of the world? Or, 
as seems more probable, were those mysterious beings — the 
hunters of the mammoth and the aurochs — the earliest pro- 
genitors of our own family, the childish fathers of the human 
race? 

As says Sir Thomas Browne: — 

The greater part must be content to be as though they had 
not been : to be found in the register of God, not in the records 
of men. The number of the dead long exceedeth all that shall 
live. The Night of Time far surpasseth the day, and who 
knoweth the Equinox? 

§ 10. — Again Buckland: — "We see everywhere primitive man, 
a naked savage, devoid of every art except those necessary to 

451 



ATLANTIS. 

self-preservation, his first improvements being the manufacture 
of implements of war and the chase. Man in this condition 
would seem to have spread gradually over the whole earth, for 
his relics are found everywhere, and his descendants, still in 
the same state of utter barbarism, are found in many outlying 
lands which have been cut off by changes in the conformation 
of the land from communication with races who have gradually 
acquired civilization ; and may also be traced in low and outcast 
tribes down-trodden by conquering hordes." 

This is so, but we do not know what those primitive men 
were like, but they were not the sons of Adam with whom the 
angels mingled. They were probably, as is the increasing 
opinion, of the Australoid type, spreading from a now submerged 
centre, which type may be traced in many of the most ancient 
remains found ; and of whom we read in " Adam and the 
Adamite" that the difference between the European and the 
Austral negro is such as to make the latter appear scarcely 
human at all. See § 14. 

§ 1 1 . — But as there were human beings before xA.dam, and our 
human race to-day is no differently constructed to any animal,- 
except in manner consequent upon environment, we may take 
it, I thmk, that the creation of Adam was a moral and not 
physical, with a consequent immense improvement. Man, as 
the physical animal, is the same, and it is pointed out that the 
practical identity of gesture signs among races so unlike as the 
English and Australians indicate extreme closeness of mental 
similarity throughout the human species. 

§ 12. — •! see nothing in Man — except from a moral stand-point — 
to warrant any claim to an especial creation. As a primeval 
animal he did not equal the ant or the bee in organized intel- 
lect, and there is reason to believe that he had no speech. 
Adam appears to have been endowed with the gift, as also 
God-like perceptions, and to him was given the naming of 
animals. 

Man is distinctly an animal, apart from his moral perceptions : 
in his passions and appetites and propagation he is no better 
than the lower orders. He has the organs of speech, but so 
has the parrot, and the parrot with the perceptions of Adam 
would speak. Man is the animal best fitted for the impress of 
God — as an animal he may have been as formidable as the 
gorilla in a long-past time that has obliterated all traces of him. 

452 



APPENDIX. 

§ 13.— The great anatomist, Prof. Huxley, tells us that there 
"is no justification for placing man in a distinct order" from 
apes, and St. George Mivart says : — " By universal consent apes 
are placed in the highest rank of all brutes, and excepting man, 
are generally taken to be the most perfect animals of the mam- 
malian class. It may be questioned, however, whether, if the 
animal man had never existed, this place would be assigned 
them by an observing intelligence. The half-apes, or Lemurs, 
commonly placed in the same order with them, are certainly 
inferior mammals ; and it might be contended that the perfection 
of the mammalian type is rather to be found in the Felidce, 
by reasoning analogous to that by which it might also be con- 
tended that birds (with their differentiated limbs, perfect cir- 
culating and respiratory systems, acute sense organs, complex 
instincts, and teachableness) are really the highest of all ver- 
tebrate animals, and represent the vertebrate type of structure 
carried to the highest degree of perfection yet attained." 

§ 14. — With reference to § 1 1 we again quote Buckland: — "If 
we are to maintain a belief in the unity of the human race, 
we must suppose them to have crept to their present position 
with the singular and ancient fauna and flora of that far-off 
land" — Australia — "from a common centre, at a period when 
Australia formed part oi a vast continent since submerged. 
There are many who hold the belief that in this submerged 
continent was the cradle of the human race ; that there, beneath 
a tropical or semi-tropical sky, some tribe allied to, but not 
identical with the present anthropoid apes, (who, it may be 
observed, seem all to radiate from a point of which this buried 
land would be the centre), gradually developed into man, at 
first only one step removed from the brutes, but slowly advancing 
in the arts which distinguish men, and that in the Australians 
we see the first steps of that development checked from further 
progress by gradual isolation, consequent upon the slow sub- 
mergence of the continent of which it once formed a part. 

§ 15.— I do not think there was any gradual advance in arts, 
any more than there is among animals of to-day ; and I take it 
as probable that the simple evolution of life and capacities for 
enjoying it stop short at that which only the gift of moral per- 
ceptions to Adam could give. I fully believe in the evolution 
of the animal Man, and I think the peculiar idea of descent from 
a totetn points to a knowledge, or theory, of such an advancement. 

453 



ATLANTIS. 

g 1 6. — With regard to the two forms of skulls found in connec- 
tion with the earliest human remains known, a curious fact is 
noticed by M. Hovelacque in his work entitled " Notre Ancetre." 
He writes — "a very striking fact is this, the anthropomorphic 
apes of Africa, (gorilla, and chimpanzee) are dolichocephalic, 
as are the African negroes and the Bushmen ; whilst the anthropo- 
morphics of the extreme East are brachycephalic, as are the 
negritos of the Andaman Isles, the inhabitants of the interior 
of the peninsula of Malacca, and of certain parts of Melanesia." 

Ruckland thinks that this might denote some local causes, 
tending to the production of a dolichocephalic type in Africa, 
and of a brachycephalic in Asia ; although he advances the fact 
that the strongly marked brow-ridges so prominent in the gorilla 
and chimpanzee, and apparently characteristic of the earliest 
known palaeolithic races, as also of the extinct Tasmanians, and 
in a less degree of the Australian and Papuan of to-day, 
are not found in the orang-hutan of Asia, which has a broad, 
flat face, to a certain extent comparable with the mongol dwelling 
in the same land. 

§ 17. — With moral perceptions and imagination man far surpassed 
the other animals of Earth, becoming their head, and triumphing 
in organized cooperation over disunited and ignorant efforts. 

§ 18. — " I. It happened after the sons of man had multiplied 
in these days, that daughters were born to them elegant and 
beautiful. 

" 2. And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, 
tliey became enamoured of them. 

"3. And they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom 
they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited, teaching 
them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees .... 
and the women conceiving brought forth giants." (" Bk. of 
Enoch," Archbishop Lawrence, 3rd Ed. pp. 5 — 6). 

^ 19.— Either it was that in olden times supernatural visitations 
were frequent, or the psychic perceptions of Man were keener; 
see Gen. 19, and many more examples. Certainly "the children 
of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of 
light," which would apparently show that one perception or 
the other must be paramount, but there can be no overpower- 
ing combination. This being so, our Saviour appeared in earthly 
form to conquer Earth, being, as the Angels of Atlantis, an 

454 



APPENDIX. 

incarnated spirit. We cannot discuss here the fact, stated and 
legendary, of carnal conception by mental stimulation, nor argue 
"the adaptable life of all spirits" of cap. x., lib. i, wherein all 
perceptions mingle. 

g 20. — In consideration of the fact that the physical atoms of 
Man, the Earth, and the Planets are the same, it is not perhaps 
so very extraordinary that under some conditions the mind of 
man should conceive strange ideas of analogy. We see in our- 
selves the seasons of the year manifested, and our written 
symbols of speech probably originated in natural figures, as 
J L 1 r — parts of the square of Orion, — and the mystic alphabet 
contained by || and = which, crossed, contain nine spaces ft. A 
volume could be written upon the relation of human and world atoms, 
and the curious soul-perceptions of the inwardness of everything, 

§ 2 1 . — ^J. Muehleisen Arnold thinks the question worth considering 
as to whether the fall of angels did not tend to materialization 
of some sort, and if this is so, then Man, led by his perceptions, 
would move in inverse ratio, and when the superhuman had 
entered into his nature we may believe his destruction was 
necessary. And it is necessary to consider the majesty of years 
of the antediluvian Adamites, which, together with supernatural 
perceptions, would bring a vast experience that generations of 
ordinary men could not attain to now. 

§ 22. In regard to Creation versus Evolution it may be well 
remembered that originally the word of Genesis i, "to create" 
meant "to carve"; which would indicate gradual perfection of 
form from a shapeless mass ; but it is not fully considered I 
think that there is as much wonder in Life as in its manifes- 
tation, and in different forms evolving slowly and marvellously 
from one simple principle. Each form is but the same principle 
adapted by its shape and powers to its environment; life is 
discovered in snow, in hot sand, in calcined lava, in brine, in 
ice, in hot vapour of 210' f., and in hot water. 

Agassiz says the Evolution theory is a mistake, Haeckel that 
the idea of Creation is wholly unscientific. He says, speaking 
of Darwin's doctrine: — In place of an arbitrary act of Creation, 
we have a necessary law of Evolution. By this the wide-spread 
incarnation of the divine creative power, or anthropomorphism, 
is done away with the false idea that the creative force shows 
any likeness to human method of action. 

455 



ATLANTIS. 

Lamarck thinks that organic species originated by the gradual 
variation of a few spontaneous original forms ; and I believe 
that the consensus of opinion leans to an aquatic origin. In 
water Van Helmont searched for the principle of all things, and 
every reptile, bird and mammal, (including man,) shows, in its 
developmental stages, in the gill-slits perforating the throat, an 
aquatic ancestry. 

The foetal development of mammals is stated to be a swift 
progress through the various adult forms of ancestry, stopping 
at the baby mammal, and is certainly a most curious and 
marvellous progress. 

St. George Mivart says : — " We must suppose — and the evidence 
for it is extremely strong — that the group of beasts, or 'mam- 
mals,' arose or was developed from preceding reptiles. 

" Reptiles are furnished with several successive series of 
teeth in their jaws, and if the above theory is correct it is 
extremely probable that the earliest forms of beasts had the 
same. And so ' milk ' and ' permanent ' teeth are a remnant 
of this. 

" That such was their origin is confirmed by the fact that some- 
times one or more of a third series of teeth become developed, " 
while the careful observer Leche has seen traces of teeth pre- 
ceding even the milk teeth, 

"Thus in beasts actually of our own day, we have vestiges 
of four successive series of teeth, though, with the rarest excep- 
tions, it is only the second and third of them, (' milk ' and 
'permanent',) which now come into existence." 

Prof. H. G. Seeley says : — " There is no doubt that the 
mammals have lost the composite structure of the lower jaw, 
which is found in reptiles ; and reptiles have lost the greater 
part of the arch of bones which in fishes intervenes between 
the brain case and the lower jaw, if their structures are inherited 
from one group to another". 

There are very strong arguments for and against the theory 
of Evolution, and Lamarck's is. one that admits the difificulty 
of the single form of ancestor. We take the moneron, the 
lowest form of life, a microscopic mass of protoplasm. The 
offspring by natural selection evolve into a higher form; but 
throughout countless centuries some must remain monera pure 
and simple, as they are to-day. Or are these latter beings ever 
evolved from something lower? 

Observing clear analogies, and particularly the foetal develop- 
ment, I think, despite a few arguments to the contrary, that 

456 



APPENDIX. 

animals certainly have evolved ; but whether from one or more 
original forms I should not like to hazard, although I do 
not see why one Life-germ would not be as good to argue 
from as several, and up to the point of life where Adam was 
endowed with moral perceptions and governed by Reason, I 
think that survival of the fittest was the only and improving 
law of earth and earth-life. 

I think it probable that animal life was pretty evenly distri- 
buted over all the world at one time, or that the various species 
moved by epochs all over the world and are nor all peculiar 
to one spot of earth. The Kangaroo would appear to have 
been at one period as widespread as the primeval Trilobite, 
and England the home of animals now inhabiting Africa. If 
Australia were joined to Asia at one time, the glacial epoch 
might have stocked it with a few forms and cut it off from 
the mainland. Buckland observes that Madagascar, although 
lying close to the African continent, yet possesses a fauna and 
flora more nearly resembling S. America. Wallace, however, 
does not regard this as denoting that Madagascar and S, America 
have ever been united by direct land communication, but that 
both have been peopled from a common source, the intermediate 
links having been destroyed, or rather superseded by more 
modern forms ; that is to say that the forms now found in S. Ame- 
rica and Madagascar have once been very widely spread, and 
have since become restricted to the regions where they are 
now found. 

§ 23. — In considering the possible manifestation of the Creator 
and the marvels of creation that we cannot comprehend, it 
always occurs to me that the tale of the Cheese-mites is one of 
of the most inspired parables that has ever been uttered as to 
the incomprehensibiHty of the incomprehensible. As it does 
not seem to me to be well known, it may not be out of place 
to repeat it here. 

There was once a colony of Cheese-mites, who after a time 
began to manifest a wish to know what their Httle world of Cheese 
was made of and whence it came. All sorts of ideas were 
advanced and explorers searched and excavated in all directions ; 
great meetings were held, at which the latest scientific theories 
were expounded as to fortuitous conglomeration of atoms or 
instantaneous creation, while there were many dogmas concern- 
ing the platter upon which it rested. A long time they strove, 
and arrived at the most brilliant ideas with convincing earnestness, 

457 



ATLANTIS. 

yet were not satisfied. For, is the tremendous ending, all their 
wisdom could not conceive a Cow. 

At many periods of history the line between Revelation and 
Imagination has been cut away, and all the records of the 
grandest history of earth, the Bible, have been Hghtly put down 
to the latter. It is to the modern tendency that Mr. Gladstone 
refers, as a state of things " peculiar and perhaps without 
example, in which multitudes of men call into question the 
foundations of our reHgion and the prerogatives of our sacred 
books, without any reference to either their capacity or their 
opportunities for so grave an undertaking." 

Imagination could not have compiled a history that every 
discovery proves, and after every great attack the Bible remains 
the same and triumphant. J. Muehleisen Arnold, in his preference 
to "Genesis and Science", says respecting the theories of a 
number of the leading naturalists, physicists and theologians of 
the continent, among whom such well-known names as Cuvier, 
Arago, Pasteur, Agassiz, Kepler, Liebig, Humboldt, Virchow, 
Burmeister, and Mtiller appear: — "where I could not adopt their 
arguments or make their conclusions my own, I endeavoured to 
show, from what are deemed authoritative statements, how great 
is the confusion among themselves, and how utterly without 
weight and value, in consequence, must be the assertions hazarded 
by scientists against the book of Genesis." 

"Theological ethnology" is referred to in a manner calculated 
to suggest to the public mind a somewhat fanciful study ; and 
although we may perhaps agree that it is an easy way of 
disposing of an argument to put down to a miracle that which 
we cannot comprehend, yet I fancy that too little account is 
admitted of a divine power that was undoubtedly more exhibited 
in earlier times than now. Do we believe the tales of the 
witch of Endor, the Incarnation of our Lord, the miracle at 
Shinar, and the wonders of the New Testament? Why should 
we give to the inspired writings every meaning but the stated 
ones, and imagine all round the facts given us? 

We are reminded that, "with the common people familiarity 
breeds contempt; they venerate that only which they do not 
understand; it is darkness and not light which moves their 
wonder and excites their awe; ' and so many adopt different 
religions because each satisfies his own peculiar conceptions. An 
evolutionist and creationist each inversely scoff at the idea of 
a miracle being performed at the birth of man, or at his being 
the result of evolution 

458 



APPENDIX. 

Dr. Schrader takes all the old cosmogonical legends as myths, 
and thinks the Hebrews learnt of the Flood in Ur of the 
Chaldees. But, says that great, accomplished scholar, Mr. 
Gladstone, referring to the tablets of Berosus, ..." the Bible 
story, more sparing in its details, but far broader and more 
direct in the terrible lesson it conveys, may reasonably have 
been judged to have come down from the source with the 
smallest amount of variation in essentials from the original. 
It is here as everywhere. 'The wisdom of this world', the 
race favoured with stable institutions, and with intellectual 
development," —the Chaldeans— " yet fails in the firmness of 
its hold, and the clearness of its view, where the appreciation 
of the tremendous moral lesson is concerned; while the race 
of wandering shepherds, who are but the ' babes and sucklings ' 
of intelligence, yet transmit that lesson in a type so fresh and 
clear that our Lord has only to quote and enlarge without 
correcting it, and so to launch it anew into the world as a 
solemn chapter of His gospel teaching." 

The first words of Genesis— In the beginning, God created 
the heavens and the earth — must have been communicated to 
man, or he might well have imagined that they were always 
there. And the science of to-day, that argues by analogy, may 
have been — nay, probably zaas — first directed on its course 
by that statement. 

The Bible, economic of facts, appears to be almost solely 
the history, not altogether, as has been stated, of the race of 
Adam, but of the Hebrew race ; and I think that in considering 
archaic man, we are too prone to place undue importance on 
the Israelites being sprung direct from Adam without any 
evolution from a pre- race. 

We hear nothing of the Cainites after the Flood, from which 
point the history runs nearly exclusively to and from Abraham. 
If the history of the former were continued with, it might 
develop — who knows — into Mongol history. Up to the Flood 
the Cainites took the lead in development of arts. No hint is 
given us of any glacial period, and indeed we find no meteoro- 
logical observations save as incidental to miracle, nor mention of 
any great cataclysm but the Deluge. The important sect of the 
Essenes is not mentioned, although holding as influential a 
position as the Pharisees and Sadducees. Neither Moses nor the 
prophets make any allusion to the Negro, although the Israelites 
in Egypt must have been brought into contact with him. 
Daughters are not mentioned in the early genealogies of the Bible 

459 



ATLANTIS. 

except in a bare statement that they were born to the patriarchs, 
and with the exception of the sister of Tubal-Cain, (Gen, iv. 22.), 
Even the wives of Cain and Seth are not named. 

Ouibblers take exception to a few isolated statements of Holy 
Writ as inaccurate, and particularly such as deal with chronology. 
The well-known and oft-disputed words, " And the evening 
and the morning were the first day," are a most fruitful source 
of argument; but to me it seems to perfectly express the 
dimness of the embryo formation progressing onward to the 
accomplished event, which was ''very good." It will be observed 
that it is always the evening and the morning, not the morning 
and the evening of the modern ''day." 

We also learn, (Mr. W. L. R. Gates,) that "before the in- 
vention of letters the memory of past transactions could not be 
preserved beyond a few years with any tolerable degree of 
accuracy .... The invention of the art of writing afforded the 
means of substituting precise and permanent records for vague 
and evanescent tradition .... but writing was practised many 
centuries before historians began to assign dates to the events 
they narrated .... Reckoning by cycles, as among the Ghinese, 
the Saros of the Ghaldeans, the Olympiad of the Greeks, the* 
Indiction of the Romans" is an old form of chronology, and "it 
suffices, therefore, to point out that the so-called era of the 
world is a purely conventional and arbitrary epoch." 

The systems of solar and lunar chronology and reckoning 
by epochs is very misleading, and the early chronology of the 
Bible cannot be reckoned in years of time — the evening and 
morning periods of Genesis are grand in their sublime idea of 
an uncounted time of awakening. 

The Bible statements are clear. It is no accidental formation 
that goes on before our eyes, as some strenuous arguments 
would have us imagine. As Mr. Arnold says, " It will be 
quite as easy to imagine the English Bible to have resulted 
from the accidental shuffling together of type, paper, and ink, 
the great book coming forth self-made, after myriads of failures, 
in its present perfection as it can possibly be to assume that 
certain structures are the fortuitous production of nature or 
matter." 

Mr. Gladstone says : — " It is doubt, and not belief, of all the 
things received, which ought in all cases to be put upon its 

defence, and to show its credentials Untested doubt, 

which often makes a lodgment in our minds, is a tenant without 
a title, a dangerous and in the main an unlawful guest. 

460 



APPENDIX. 

..." Obviously, almost mathematically, the increased powers 
of worldly attraction disturb the balance of our condition, unless 
and until they are countervailed by increased powers of un- 
worldly attraction and elevation." 

On Max Miiller's statement that without language there cannot 
be thought, the great statesman says: 

... "There are in human nature a multitude of undeveloped 
{so to speak) embryonic forces of impressions received from without, 
and finding a congenial soil within, which never ripen to 
maturity, or make their way into articulate speech, or obtain 
a defined place in our consciousness ; and yet these germs of 
thought may ripen, though not into propositions, yet into acts. 

" My belief is that at this moment these unspoken and un- 
tested movements not so much of mind, as of appetite, or, to 
use a milder word, of propensity, pressing upon mind, these 
not thoughts, but rudiments of thoughts, are at work among 
us, and within us; and that, were they translated or expanded 
into words, their sense would be no more and no less than the 
old vulgar sense of those who in every age have held that 
after all this world is the only world we securely know; and 
that the only labour that is worth labouring, the only care worth 
caring, the only joy worth enjoying, are the labour, the care, 
and joy that begin and end with it." 

The italics are mine. The meaning, in a nutshell, is what 
so many of us feel, that we preach God with our hps, but our 
careless actions betray the consciousness given by those " embry- 
onic forces" that v^^ feel the earth and nought besides. 

... " The nobly candid admission of Mr. Darwin {Analogy 
part ii., chap, vii)," says Mr. Gladstone, " respecting the possible 
atrophy, through disuse, of the mental organs on which our 
higher tastes depend," would blind our eyes to things super- 
human, and "Among those organs I cannot but include the 
organ of belief." 



461 



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